Sunday, July 21, 2013

African Americana: A Social Satire


At the end of last year I was asked in a small Brooklyn museum to write a piece about Obama and race. I remembered my stint as an Obama staffer in the 2008 campaign and all my traffic stops with the local Cleveland police force. I decided to try my hand at a social satire blending my memories with some cultural archetypes. What came out of that was "African Americana."

Even though it was just a workshop production on a blank stage I was so happy that Jesse Phillips-Fein (curator of the Obama to Occupy Festival) asked me to join in on the parade of shows at the Brooklyn Arts Exchange (BAX).

Fortunately someone recorded the show and -with the permission of all those involved- I put it on youtube. Even though "African Americana" went up in January 2013, it feels like it happened years ago. It was nice to get this web clip this weekend from the talented videographer, Denae Hannah.

A month later I adapted "African Americana" into a full-length play "Obama-ology" which was workshopped at Red Shirt Entertainment. I'm looking to keep this satire going because, unfortunately, it's all too relevant these days.


Owa said...

I didn't work for him in either campaign, though I did vote for him in the first election. It was despite the reality that its not the president, but rather, American policy that guides the politics both foreign and domestic; nonetheless it was historical. He is the 44th president. The preceeding 43 ---all white men, have done every and anything to insure white people are masters of the universe. While Obama dare not show favortism to his own. What is the point of having a black president who pushes a white agenda to the max?

Aurin Squire said...

I don't know if he pushes what could be described as a 'white agenda.' He is very middle of the road, frustratingly quick to compromise policy with people who clearly despise him just for being alive, and a flawed man. He's not a civil rights crusader and his campaigns financial largesse mean he's tied too closely to corporation. The health care bill is a boon for insurance companies, a hassle for doctors, and a tax on the poor and unemployed. And yes the NSA scandal is a breach of basic rights. And still, he was the best option in both elections. I actually think the Clintons are more liberal but I realize Obama is a flawed president who has managed to accomplish significant things despite rigid opposition from 47% of the nation from the moment he took office.