Follow-Up On Everett’s The Freedom Project Or, How “White Ladies” and “Thugs” Must Work Together To Make Things Better

26 Mar

I received a note from Dorothy Jungels, co-founder and Artistic Director of Everett, after she read yesterday’s post, I Should Tell You About Everett Company, Stage & School’s The Freedom Project (Instead Of My MJ Magazine)

Dorothy generously thanked me and then she gave me her insights into the evenings’ performance and talk-back.  I had failed to mention in my post that when the young boy at the center of the A Boy Named Nothing performance meets up with dancer Sokeo Ros, who represents Scar Face, or the “bad guy,”  Scar Face convinces the boy that they need him to be the bad guy because it makes them look good.

Here’s an excerpt of Dorothy’s note, that gave me another perspective on how to frame what I witnessed at the Everett performance:

You asked if I had anything else to tell you…a little more about Scar Face. It’s interesting if we put the whole night in Archetypes. Scar Face accepts the ‘bad guy’ role but knows that he is a scapegoat for society. I thought it was interesting that ‘the white ladies’ became the scapegoat that night and let’s face it, they and the young men are getting all the blame in our schools and society. The war on drugs and the war on teachers target the two populations. So maybe, really ,they are a wonderful match if they can figure things out together. Theresa Fox has certainly figured it out and even as she says she is “going Rogue” she parallels the young men that are going ‘thug’.

My daughter Therese is also a teacher in middle school and fights the battle everyday with love, cookies and good math skills. Thank god for the white ladies. In some ways I’ve stopped being a white lady myself, I’m much more related to the ‘thug’ or radical in me now–but I love them with all my heart.

Thank you for writing. We need to keep these problems and solutions on our minds.


And so my mind was blown.   I can be so quick to look at things, and merely label people as racist, or as calling others out on racism, or noting people being defensive about racism.  Here Dorothy showed me there is a whole other way to look at what was really going on in the performance and the interaction between the audience and the presenters.

I love her take on the “white lady” teachers and the supposed kids of color “thugs” running parallel to one another, and even flipping, and ultimately, being the two scapegoats who will have to reach out to one another and work together to fix this mess of the inequities in school resources, disparities in school discipline, and the detriment of standardized testing, so that all of our children, black, brown and white, and their teachers, can go back to being a true community of human beings teaching and learning, instead of just numbers in the numbers game of the companies that are in the business of school testing and private prisons.

Thank you again, Dorothy for opening this “white lady’s” eyes a whole lot wider.


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