Where have all the Black Men Gone?

Tuesday, Oct 12th, 2010

… they were all at last night’s Blackboard! (how i survive by Angel Dillemuth)  I don’t think Almeria and I had ever seen a room full of so many Black men before… at Blackboard I mean  I think 95% of the audience was male!  With that said, a BIG Congratulations to Angel Dillemuth for a very successful reading!  The talk-back could have gone one for another half-hour, but people stayed, mingled and drank wine until the storm surpassed.  It was beautiful evening!

But where have all the Black men gone?… Is it because Daryl Sledge, who also produced this particular reading is male and therefore, draws more men?  Is it because Angel and the other actor involved were male…

There were also a number of white men in the audience and during the talk-back all the questions, aside from two were asked by men!  Almeria was blown to the wall and I was just watching in almost disbelief.  How can we attract more of these men – who for the most part came by themselves – a range of ages…


One Week Later: Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

I am still in disbelief over last week and very thankful for the wonderful experience.  This past week at the cell has been busy and challenging – so many events happening, I didn’t get to send my Thank you for Blackboard the next night, but sending it now.  THANK YOU for such a wonderful reading!

Next Month will be a structured Community Night, where I will invite playwrights who have been submitting plays to do a 10 minutes / 10 pages of their work.

It should be an interesting night!

Stay Tuned!



About blackboardplays

Familiar with the collectives for poets and other Black writers that had been created over the years and slightly envious of that sense of community, I became curious about a similar place for playwrights. I wanted to see Black playwrights, actors and directors excited over each others work and supporting each other. I was longing for a “home” as a Black playwright and wanted to see other Black artists in that home, not to be exclusive, but because there was a void. I was also eager to find other Black playwrights who shared a passion for the craft of storytelling. The stories of the Black community are diverse and are often hidden behind the blockbuster stereotyped versions. The non-artistic Black community, not involved in the writing of these stories, is yearning to see themselves in our stories and it is apart of my life’s work to ensure that happens. the cell is any artists’ dream: a new space that supports you as you grow, committed to new work and the art. This allows the writer to focus on the craft - to focus on their story. Nancy Manocherian and Kira Simring welcomed this idea with open arms and instantly became apart of what we later called “Blackboard Reading Series”. Every reading will conclude a twenty minute talk-back with the audience. Dialogue with the community is essential to what we want to do with the series. As we grow, there may be more readings a month, play festivals and of course productions. We want to nurture and develop new black playwrights for this generation! Thank You! Garlia Cornelia Jones Founder, Blackboard Reading Series
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2 Responses to Where have all the Black Men Gone?

  1. Cisco says:

    I can’t say exactly why, but I would gather that the content of the play is of the sort that speaks to the experience of the man of color. Angel is a friend of mine and I’m sure along with Sledge’s help they were able to get the word out to their friends and colleagues whose interest was peaked and they spoke to their friends and colleagues to help bring together a very divers, affluent, and educated, audience of color and particularly male. It was my first time at the Cell and I thoroughly enjoyed my time and am very impressed with the space. I am a writer and would love to show my works there as I expressed to Garlia. Bravo Blackboard and the Cell

    • Ya – content is definitely it… so that is an idea… to make the content something that can speak to a particular audience – which is what we always aim to do – but this reading was an amazing example of that! Thanks for your response!


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