“The university held the open session, facilitated by Assistant Director for Student Diversity and Inclusion Programs Chatashia Brown, after learning that several students organized a petition to support the cancelation of the play and planned to protest on opening night.”
The production of a play by black playwright Carlyle Brown has been canceled at Texas Wesleyan University because one of the characters uses the n-word and members of the Black Student Association declared that this would be too triggering.
The play is about the beginning of the civil rights movement in the south, so the word is clearly being used in a historical context.
Professor Jonathan Turley writes at his blog:
Black Playwright Canceled at Texas Wesleyan University Due to Use of N-Word by Character
We have been following cases involving faculty disciplined or fired over the use of the n-word in classes (including courses on racism) or tests. Recently, a GW professor was removed from his class for such a reference. Now, “Down in Mississippi,” a play written by African American writer Carlyle Brown on the birth of the civil rights movement, has been reportedly canceled. Students objected to the use of the n-word in a play that tries to capture the environment of hate and racism of the period. Texas Wesleyan’s Black Student Association declared the reference to be harmful and “triggering.”
Calling for a boycott, the Association declared that allowing the play to be heard would “further hurt Black students and possibly students from other marginalized communities.”
The student newspaper, The Rambler, describes the process that led to the decision:
Theatre Wesleyan’s “Down to Mississippi” will not be performed after students speak out over language
After a one hour and thirty-minute open listening session Thursday, Theatre Wesleyan students and faculty have decided to not perform their production of “Down in Mississippi” at Texas Wesleyan because of the reaction of students over the racially explicit language used in the play between a white actor and black actor.
“The decision was made after lengthy meetings of theatre department students and faculty. These theatre department discussions took place following the open listening session Thursday during which students and the entire campus community engaged in an open discussion about Theatre Wesleyan’s production of the play,’ Texas Wesleyan University said in an email sent out today.
“The listening session allowed for meaningful and consequential engagement for our students, staff, faculty, community members, and the chairman of the Board of Trustees,” the email continued.
The university held the open session, facilitated by Assistant Director for Student Diversity and Inclusion Programs Chatashia Brown, after learning that several students organized a petition to support the cancelation of the play and planned to protest on opening night.
I can understand why these students don’t want to hear that word, but this is a play about history. Theater is supposed to be bold and challenging.
Also, does anyone believe the school would cancel a play for being offensive to Christians? Republicans? Trump supporters? Not a chance.
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