On Friday night I saw the play, Flyin' West, performed by students in the School of Theatre, Dance and Performance Studios at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland. The play is by playwright Pearl Cleage, and it is a story set in 1898 about African-American women who settled in the all-black town of Nicodemus, Kansas after fleeing the Jim Crow South. Their new homestead comes with challenges, but the strength, courage, determination and love between these women see them through.
Cleage is a phenomenal storyteller, and her books and plays get to the heart of what it is to be an African American woman dealing with issues ranging from racism and sexism, to domestic violence. Through it all, they ultimately speak to how brave we, as Black women, are, and how we are able to face and overcome adversity and injustice in our lives. These stories truly invoke a sense of pride in us all.
The play is available for reading, however, if you have the opportunity to see a performance I highly recommend that you do so. If you're in the DC Metropolitan area, you can catch it at The Clarice until November 9, 2019. To the young actors who performed when I attended, I give a standing ovation.