Saturday, January 13, 2018

     Last night, Mr. Wonderful and I attended a breathtaking performance of the last night in the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, The Mountaintop. It was performed by a cast of two at the Westcoast Black Theatre. We have rarely experienced such a gripping, beautifully-acted play so close to the actors that we could reach out and touch them. Their performance reached out and touched us deeply. 

     It took us back to the days of civil unrest when one man took it upon himself to lead the oppressed to freedom. It reminded us that Dr. King was a man who took up a cause for his people and put himself at great personal risk for what he believed. It also showed his human-ness, his vulnerability, his fear. With a bit of fantasy, we watch him get a glimpse of his demise. I won’t spoil it by telling you how, but if you get a chance to see this production or any production of this play, don’t miss it. The two actors, A.K. Murtadha and Emerald Rose Sullivan, were phenomenal—Broadway quality. 

     This all begs the question:  How far have we come? Our country is certainly not free of racism, as a matter of fact, racism seems to have surfaced in the last year and a half. Could America elect an African American woman to our highest office? Is there hatred in the air? Do we all listen to and respect each others’ opinions? With all of our sophisticated technology and improvements in daily communication, have we really learned to listen to one another? Do we value a single human life? 

      At the end of the play, a slideshow appears behind a sheer curtain. The female lead delivers a soliloquy about the history of our country’s political and social issues. This piece could earn an Oscar on its own. A stunning commentary on our country’s leadership and upheaval opened many eyes and brought tears to our cheeks. 

     How far have we come?  I fear we may have regressed in our most important mission:   hearing each others’ voices.