All Skinfolk Ain’t Kinfolk
Gather round party people,
I’ve a story to tell,
One that BIPOC theatre artists,
will know all too well.
It’s what granny would say,
When you were spurned by your kin.
“All Skinfolk Ain’t Kinfolk!”
Now, let us begin.
Kevin is Black.
As Black as can be.
Well, at least he is theoretically.
He’s got brown cocoa skin,
And coily Black hair,
And his personal style has a bit of a flair.
But this is where similarities end
And the problem with our dear Kevin,
Kevin, you see,
Is a whip smart young man.
(He’ll remind you of this whenever he can.)
He’ll pull up to your theatre or grad school,
“Ooo, a Brotha!” you’re beamin’,
As he drifts your way…
then shuffles right past…
then finds all the white folx…
and begins to kiss ass.
And quite a bit hurt,
When on top of your name,
He begins to throw dirt.
He shits on you,
And Black folx as a whole,
While you sit there and think,
“Dude is out of control.”
You’d be right in your thinking
Our Kevin, you see,
is malignant with ego,
pustulous with pride,
greed, and self-hate.
Y’all will never be homies,
He knew that off gate.
Kevin, subscribes to the Rule of One,
Two Blacks can’t be great,
It just shouldn’t be done.
Kevins, alas, are everywhere.
Be their name Abby,
Renee or Javier.
All Skinfolk ain’t Kinfolk.
You betta beware.
Seriously y’all. It’s hard enough to navigate the world of the White American Theatre (and Amerikkka in general) without having to keep our eyes peeled for folx who look like us, laying booby traps so they can remain darlings of the oppressor. If that’s how you want to live, go awf.
However, as Ludacris would say:
GET OUT THE WAY
of folx who want something more than crumbs from the table of White Joy. Why is that so hard? It’s likely because divesting from chronic dependence on Capitalist ideals and the inherent white supremacy found within are hard. Who are we outside of the paradigms they’ve set for us? It’s daunting to imagine, yet the possibilities are exhilarating.
You know what isn’t exhilarating?
The sacrifices we’ve made to fit into this system.
The mental gymnastics it takes to constantly translate our existence into something palatable for white folx. The emotional and physical harm we’ve caused ourselves and one another as a result.
Aren’t you tired?
Assimilate and peace make as you may, you will never have an equitable space in The White American Theatre as it exists.
We are, armed with our demands and our anonymity, empowered to dismantle the White American Theatre’s whites supremacist/patriarchal paradigms from within. We teach in your grad programs, sit on your board of directors, lead your organizations, write and perform in your plays, design your shows, direct your shows … we. are. everywhere.
Whether or not you agree with our tactics, whether or not you choose to work with us, know that we are with you and will stand for you.
In love & solidarity,