Best Treatment of a Touchy Subject

Racism is a common enough topic in theater, but Dael Orlandersmith's Yellowman explored a different kind of bigotry: the contempt felt by some lighter-skinned African-Americans toward their darker-skinned brethren, and the reciprocal rage it engenders. The play dares to evoke all kinds of stereotypes as Alma, one of the two lead characters, describes the revulsion she feels toward her own mother, whom she describes as fat, drunken, ugly and uneducated. The "high yellow" Eugene is rejected by his far darker father. Orlandersmith deserves tremendous credit for her honesty and courage in dealing with this topic, and Curious must be commended for its serious-minded production.


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