Award-winning blogger, journalist, author, and playwright SékouWrites is currently visiting Nashville to develop an experimental new play at Fisk University. On Wednesday, February 26 at 9:00 p.m., Persephone Felder-Fentress and the Fisk Stagecrafters will present a staged reading of Sékou’s new play Brown Boy Mad inside Fisk’s iconic Little Theatre.
The staged reading will utilize the talents of several Fisk students, including Jeffrey Casey, Courtney Deckard, Kiaré Green, Meaghan Hall, Kyron McDonald, and Keenya Riley, among others. The event is free and open to the public, however, donations are encouraged to support both the play and the Fisk Stagecrafters. There will be a talk-back after the performance.
Brown Boy Mad is a collection of poems and monologues that describe a few of the author’s experiences with racial microaggressions. The play seeks to illustrate some of the pains and a few of the pleasures of modern Black male-hood. From his experience of almost being beaten by white police officers to his series of humorous “Dear White Man” poems, the playwright offers an intimate portrait of himself and, by extension, what it means to be Black and male in today’s “post-racial” society. Brown Boy Bad is a multimedia effort to help redefine the black male image in the media. It began, quite accidentally, when an automotive test drive in the Nashville area turned sour.
“Brown Boy Mad is a choreopoem– a poetic, autobiographical stage play about my experiences with microaggressions,” says Sekou. “I wrote it way back in 2003 as a one-man-show but I’ve never performed it and I never dreamed that I’d one day be asking other actors to bring my true stories to life.”
Currently classified as a choreopoem, Brown Boy Mad incorporates elements of song, poetry and even the actual perspectives of the actors in an attempt to describe some of the author’s real-life interactions with race and microaggressions.
“When people see the play, they think that I wrote it two weeks ago,” says Sekou about Brown Boy Mad. “It’s gratifying but also kind of sobering that this work is just as relevant now, as it was when I wrote it almost 20 years ago.”
SekouWrites lives in New York City but frequently visits Nashville to see his mom and aunt who are both Fiskites. Sekou has written for a wide range of publications including Essence, Ebony, Uptown, and Upscale amongst others. He has also edited three books, been featured in several anthologies, performed in the NYC Fringe Festival, and earned an MFA in Creative Writing. He has been featured as a guest on many podcasts, radio shows and TV shows including Nightline, The Today Show and WGBH’s Basic Black.
For information about the play, the playwright, and his other works, visit www.sekouwrites.com. The Fisk University Little Theater is located on the campus adjacent to the Carl Van Vechten Gallery, between it and Talley-Brady Hall, just off the corner of Jackson Street on D.B. Todd Boulevard.