Waiting 4 Giovanni: The circuitous road to production of a dream play about James Baldwin by Jewelle Gomez. The two act play had its world premiere August 19- September 18, 2011, at New Conservatory Theatre Center, San Francisco. It is currently looking for its next new venue!
As lights shift Lorraine sings as she enters: ‘We Shall Overcome’ tying on a small apron. She may be folding napkins or setting the
table throughout. She goes through a bit of the song then stops. Jimmy sits at
his typewriter reading a page from her letter.
(Singing) ‘Deep in my heart, I do believe, we shall overcome some day.’
The song seems somewhat incongruous with the act of setting a
but believe me, to a woman, nothing is incongruous.You and I sang
that song quite a bit, Jimmy.We all used to sing then. As if the singing
might wipe the fear and bitterness off of people’s faces.But, there you are
Three centuries of hatred need a little more than a four minute
You are on the road so much! I missed singing with you at the memorial...
the anniversary of Emmett Till's murder.
Most of the Negroes...the black people...in the little storefront were so choked
with sorrow, Jimmy, they couldn't get the words out. I was choked with irony.
How closely tied are sex and blackness in this country? A boy, no more than
15 years old, beaten mercilessly and killed--by grown white men--because he's
perceived to be a threat to white womanhood.
It is 1956, for Gawd sake! How can I…or you…or Richard write a word
and hope it to have a single shred of meaning? It’s as if our dark skin is a
symbol of rampaging desire roaring in their ears! Whatever words
Till may or may not have said to that white girl--that store clerk in Money,
Mississippi--are irrelevant. Emmett Till had no vice at all. His skin did all the talking.