Last weekend was lit!
Mostly because I successfully balanced my social and antisocial personality. On Saturday I went with a friend to this play called Free At Last: Life Beyond the River! (Guess what it was about..). Written by Lousiana-born,Wendell T. Harrison, Free At Last analyzes life after slavery through the lens of former slaves. Free At Last uses interviews from the collection “Born in Slavery,” which were documents created by the Federal Workers Project in America from 1936-1938, to inspire this play. The audience through amazing song and and short stories learn not only of what life was like after slavery ended, but also experience a very interesting twist to an already compelling story.
I do have something to confess – I don’t really like musicals or anything where songs are added to a plot to further enhance the story. And it was that very dislike of mine that made me cringe when they started singing in this play. But here’s the thing. Unlike other musicals, where songs are added, the addition of song in Free At Last is a true representation of how slaves and African Americans and really any group going through conflict, handles the conflict. Singing serves (to this day) as a tool used to overcome the pain from the destruction of so many horrifying things. Even today, when we see protests we hear songs that correlate with the oppresseds’ experiences. So with all that said, I gave the singing thing a pass. It also helps that they had beautiful voices that boomed throughout the room and probably could be heard from outside.
My favorite part of the play was the end…not to be a smart ass. There was definitely a twist at the end, when the play did something so surprising and really brought together the theme. All in all, Free At Last showed that slavery comes in many forms (mental, physical, sexual) and though the evils of African American slavery are somewhat over (depending on who you ask), there are still other people who are facing slavery to this very day and that fact must be acknowledged and put to an end.
I really enjoyed the play and I’m really hope to attend more shows like it!
Catch you on the flip side!