Cultural event Essay

My cultural event is The Color Purple. Not only did I see the show but I was involved in the production. I was assigned to be a crew member, which allowed me to view the show from back stage. As an African American I felt as though this play was a great example of some of our cultural background. From the script to the scenery, this show dealt with many dynamics of African American’s (Black people) around the early 1900’s. The play also explores how life was in Africa during this time period.

During the time period this play is set, African Americans have only been free from slavery for but a short count of seasons. Some of the slave mentalities were still embodied in our people. In Act I it shows a young black girl having her child taken from her by her own father whom gives the child away so the young black girl can continue to do the work that’s been assigned to her. Later, also in Act I, the young black girl is assigned a husband that forces her to sleep with him, perform all of the household chores, and beats her at his leisure. Towards the beginning of Act II a middle aged woman was beaten and put in jail by white men for refusing to work as a maid in a white woman’s home. With our people being so new to freedom, this shows that the aroma of slavery was still fresh in the airs of America.

Throughout the course to the production there would be different songs performed, which showed how African Americans came together collectively to celebrate or fellowship with each other during this time. The opening scene in Act I shows a Sunday morning service. In this service was a pastor, four church ladies, and the congregation singing an old Negro spiritual as they danced and praised God. Around the end of Act I was a famous singer back in town performing at the Juke Joint. Her performance consisted of singing, dancing, and just a fun time with all the local people enjoying themselves. In Act II at the end of the play all to the community gather together at a picnic and share a memorable moment with a song. These are just a few of the things executed in the play to exemplify how our culture came together during that time period.

At the beginning of the Act II, the play visited a different part of the world. They took us on a journey through Africa. There was a great deal of dancing in this scene that represented Africa tremendously, as well as the music. It also told about white soldiers coming into a village and forcing the village to war. During this scene there was a little dialogue of one of the many African languages being spoken. I thought all of this was a very nice touch to the collaboration of African Americans and our motherland.

I choose The Color Purple for my cultural event because it showed a lot our African American culture. Also it provide a little more background by visiting our mother land of Africa for a brief moment in the play. From slavery and celebration in America to African way of life, this production provides a great understanding of Black people and Africans in the early 1900’s.