The Porgy And Bess Cast Show Solidarity with Trayvon Martin

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Porgy and Bess on Broadway

Audra McDonald, Norm Lewis and David Alan Grier are headlining George and Ira Gershwin's renowned African American musical "Porgy And Bess," which contain some of the most beautiful, poignant and heartrending songs written. Presently running on Broadway at the Richard Rodgers `Theater, located at 226 West 46th Street in Manhattan, the story takes place in Catfish Row in Charleston, South Carolina in the early 1920s.

Music written by George Gershwin and lyrics scripted by his brother Ira, the opera tells the tale of African American life and depicts the tragic love affair of two cripples, one whole but psychologically crippled (Bess) and the other physically crippled (Porgy).  The two struggle to find happiness amidst powerful forces that seek to part them.

Audra McDonald plays Bess, Norm Lewis, Porgy and David Alan Grier plays the wily rascal Sporting Life.  Other cast members include Philip Boykin, Nikki Renee Daniels, Christopher Innvar, Joshua Henry, Bryonha Marie Barham and NaTasha Yvette Williams.  Life is often depicted on the stage and Porgy and Bess is a production not to be missed.

The play depicts the humiliation and abuse African Americans have been subjected to throughout their sojourn in America, no matter the era.  It highlights police corruption and murder so it’s not surprising that the cast, like the majority of Americans, are invested in the Trayvon Martin murder wherein a young boy was killed for no other reason than he was black and a victim of the psychological debasing of black people in America.  The constant suggestion that somehow being black is synonymous with crime is woven deep in the psyche of America oftentimes fed by the media.  Odd, since it is not Black people who drop bombs on thousands of people throughout the world, or create weapons of mass destruction or develop germ warfare which has brought about the death of countless millions.  No, it is not Black people who are the greatest purveyors of death throughout the world, nowhere near it.  Yet they are often depicted by smear campaigns that suggest they are.  If anything, African Americans are so psychologically scarred by the constant victimization they suffer, that if they do commit crimes or kill, it’s often directed against one another.  Yet white America, due to their lack of interaction with the majority of the Black race, live in fear, simply because they have bought into the fabricated stereotypes they form in their minds about people of color. 

It seems at least this black faced boogieman lived in the mind of George Zimmerman, a would-be self-appointed guardian of his neighborhood.  He was a frustrated vigilante who failed at being a police recruit but apparently was itching for action.  Therefore, he took up a gun and went hunting, equating black skin and a hoodie as proof of criminality.  So eager was he, that even when told to stand down, he persisted.  What was he thinking?  Was he thinking the police would be his alibi because he called them prior to the shooting to alert them that he saw a suspicious black person who he initially described as appearing to be on drugs?  Since we only have Zimmerman's side of what happened, we can only suspect his motives. How he ascertained Trayvon was a threat via watching the young man talking on his cell phone is yet to be established.  Did he think he was under the protection of the Stand Your Ground law so therefore protected if indeed he shot Trayvon?  Since the evidence is not in, one can only speculate.   Mr. Zimmerman from what the young girl who was talking to Trayvon on the other end of the phone stated, so concerned Trayvon, she heard Trayvon query Zimmerman about his reason for following him.  Obviously, Trayvon felt he might be in danger since he told the girl he was feeling apprehensive and even scared, so much so, she told him to run.  Zimmerman claims he was attacked.  That it was him yelling for help.  One has to wonder why Zimmerman would be yelling for help as he claims, since he was the one with the gun, so therefore would be feeling confident that he was not endangered.  He also outweighed Trayvon, so if indeed he shoved Trayvon, perhaps Trayvon began to be concerned his life was in danger and therefore fought back as if his life depended on it, which as it turns out, it did.

Given the fact someone in the police department leaked information that Trayvon was suspended from school for being in the possession of an “empty” marijuana bag (the operative word being “empty”) says the police are grasping at straws to defend their position concerning not at least arresting Zimmerman.  Especially, since even the law maker who created the Stand Your Ground law claims once Zimmerman ignored the order to stand down, he became the aggressor and therefore was not protected by the Stand Your Ground law.  It appears the Florida Police do not even understand the very law under which they are protecting and defending Zimmerman.

Across the nation people are donning hoodies to show their solidarity with Trayvon and to defuse the idea that evil walks neighborhoods in black skin and hoodies.  The cast members of Porgy and Bess, decided to put on hoodies to show that it’s time to stop judging people by one’s own ignorance and prejudice. Instead, it’s time to see that one cannot judge a book by its cover or destroy the book simply because you don’t like its color.

 

 

 

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