A Zoom meeting was the unusual setting for a staged reading by co-founders of the Robey Theater Company Danny Glover and Ben Guillory. Attendees from L.A. City College Human Rights
By Cashia Kirksey
(HOLLYWOOD, Calif)— Danny Glover and Ben Guillory played important acting roles in the 1985 movie ‘The Color Purple’ about 35 to 36 years ago, both Co-Founders of The Robey Theater Company want to keep Black theater relevant.
Cast and creators of new play, ‘Revolutionary Genocide,’ Danny Glover, Ben Guillory, Melvin Ishmael Johnson, Cydney Wayne Davis, and Kimberly Bailey joined Los Angeles City College’s Black Lives Matter Town Hall meeting on Oct 16.
‘Revolutionary Genocide,’ written by Johnson, takes place in early 1950’s, telling the story of Paul Robeson and William Patterson as they present the United Nations with proof that the United States’s intentionally refused to pass laws against lynching.
Casts of ‘Revolutionary Genocide’ spoke on topics of slavery, reparations, and lack of change and justice during BLM Town Hall meeting.
“What does reparations look like, Glover asked.” “Reparations in terms of justice, reparations as it’s individualized, or collective in sense.” “Where do we begin to talk about reparations,” Glover added?
Though no sort of reparations has been paid to Black Americans for slavery, conversations surrounding the matter are always active in Black communities. Glover suggests the contents of reparations must be defined in all aspects before the demand is made.
Guillory, who plays Paul Robeson’s character in the staged reading speaks on the connection between slavery and modern-day exploitation of labor and how its relevance plays a major part in the play.
“The whole idea of the cast and what the attorney was speaking about [is] finances,” Guillory said.
“Finances translate to free labor and what was free labor in this country for so long is what this country was built upon, the foundation of this country is built on that free labor which was us in slavery,” Guillory continued.
The play depicts social injustices, racial biasness, and intentional genocide on Black Americans.
“We look at a world where 40% of the population live on less than two dollars a day,” Glover said.
Los Angeles Department of Civil and Human Rights Executive Director Capri Maddox also joined LACC’s BLM Town Hall meeting. Maddox is first to represent the department as Executive Director.
Maddox shared the departments plan to protect residence, workers, and visitors of the City of Los Angeles.
“We believe that Black Lives Matter has done substantial work in the City of Los Angeles as well as our nation,” Maddox said. She went on to commend LACC on their dedication and partnership to BLM movement.
“In honor of George Floyd I’ve said many times that everyone has their knee on your neck, does not do so literally,” Maddox said.
The department’s Commission support provides protection for Women’s status, Civil Rights, and discrimination against Transgenders. Other programs available by the department include discrimination enforcement.
The department also provides public accommodations and are equipped to bring cases against those who violate your civil and human rights. Fair education, employment, and housing are basic human right all people should have access to.
“Hate incidents and discriminatory behaviors are a concern, we need to continue to support all communities that deal with hate incidents and hate crimes,” Maddox said.