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Has Anyone Noticed That Romeo Is Black?
Henry Louis Gates webzine, The Root ^ | 30 July | Jason Page

Posted on 08/14/2009 5:59:02 AM PDT by flowerplough

Romeo is black. And no one cares. While this might be big news in America, no one in London is making any fuss about Adetomiwa Edun in Romeo & Juliet, playing through August 23 at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. Here, it’s just damn good theater. No nuance, no emotional triggers playing on Edun’s ethnicity.

I admit that I was excited and skeptical about it, feeling very American in my belief that this was astonishing news and curious about how the Globe Theatre’s audiences would respond. I watched with a grin, caught the Bard’s lines flying and peeped that black man kissing a white woman on stage, out in the open for the Globe to see. And my perception of racial politics, which is a vicious mixture of pride, historical memory and fear, ebbed and flowed, but never washed up onto the stage.

Today, like in any other theater, there is always opportunity for race to play center stage. But not in this production of Romeo & Juliet. After the play, I walked out into the London night feeling like they had triumphed over me, the naïve American who wanted those winks because I was used to American entertainment playing to our perceptions of race. But I was denied that quick satisfaction and found the true essence of Shakespeare.


TOPICS: Arts/Photography; Books/Literature
KEYWORDS: mrskippy; thearts
The writer's African-American-community-organizer/activist sensibilities made him think that a black man playing Romeo, in England, was important. But it ain't.
1 posted on 08/14/2009 5:59:03 AM PDT by flowerplough
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To: flowerplough

Next, a white Othello...


2 posted on 08/14/2009 5:59:58 AM PDT by silverleaf (If you can't be a good example, at least don't be a horrible lesson)
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To: silverleaf

My thoughts exactly. THAT would excite comment and won’t happen.


3 posted on 08/14/2009 6:02:16 AM PDT by Locomotive Breath
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To: silverleaf

“Where’re the white women at?”


4 posted on 08/14/2009 6:02:37 AM PDT by RexBeach
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To: flowerplough
The writer's African-American-community-organizer/activist sensibilities made him think that a black man playing Romeo, in England, was important. But it ain't.

Some black people are at peace with themselves. Some have a mad desire to be white, which seems to color their judgment of everything.

5 posted on 08/14/2009 6:02:41 AM PDT by the invisib1e hand (STOP OBAMA NOW.)
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To: flowerplough

Some people are never going to figure out that color blindness, or at least indifference to color, is real. Such people truly live 50+ years in the past, while most everyone else has long since moved on.


6 posted on 08/14/2009 6:02:45 AM PDT by Cecily
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To: flowerplough

I understand at the end, he kilt himself.


7 posted on 08/14/2009 6:03:09 AM PDT by edpc (HR 3200 - One thousand sheets on a 2-ply roll)
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To: flowerplough
While this might be big news in America, no one in London is making any fuss about Adetomiwa Edun in Romeo & Juliet, playing through August 23 at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.

Oh fer cryin' out loud . . . c'mon, Mr. Page.

8 posted on 08/14/2009 6:03:38 AM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: silverleaf

Patrick Stewart of Star Trek fame, played Othello with an all black supporting cast.


9 posted on 08/14/2009 6:03:44 AM PDT by brwnsuga (Proud, BLACK, Beautiful, Conservative!!!)
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To: flowerplough
I admit that I was excited and skeptical about it, feeling very American in my belief that this was astonishing news and curious about how the Globe Theatre’s audiences would respond. I watched with a grin, caught the Bard’s lines flying and peeped that black man kissing a white woman on stage, out in the open for the Globe to see.

WTH did he expect to happen? People in the audience standing up in shock and yelling, "Oy, that bloke's black!" Would he have expected that of an American audience? What a delusional nut.

10 posted on 08/14/2009 6:05:12 AM PDT by Sloth (Irony: Freepers who call Ron Paul a "nut" but swallow all the birth certificate conspiracy crap.)
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To: RexBeach

It seems to me white women say ‘where’s all the black men at?’


11 posted on 08/14/2009 6:05:31 AM PDT by brwnsuga (Proud, BLACK, Beautiful, Conservative!!!)
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To: Sloth

WTH did he expect to happen? People in the audience standing up in shock and yelling, “Oy, that bloke’s black!” Would he have expected that of an American audience? What a delusional nut.

I attended a musical where a friend of mine, who was black, was playing Jesus. When he come onstage, SOME of the older white folks, walked out. I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was a little hurtful to me to think people (especially those who call themselves Christians) still acted like that. This was at CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network) here in Virginia.


12 posted on 08/14/2009 6:10:56 AM PDT by brwnsuga (Proud, BLACK, Beautiful, Conservative!!!)
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To: flowerplough

This is not big news in America. Page’s characterization is the same kind of tiresome and bigoted anti-American strawman we are used to seeing from the less creative elements of the British chatterati. As we (actually do) say here in America, get a life, Page.


13 posted on 08/14/2009 6:12:45 AM PDT by atomic conspiracy (Victory in Iraq: Worst defeat for activist media since Goebbels shot himself.)
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To: flowerplough
If only we were as cool, tolerant and awesome as the British. It's so embarrassing to me that they have a black PM, but we're far too racist to have a black President.

Oh, wait...

14 posted on 08/14/2009 6:14:59 AM PDT by LongElegantLegs (It takes a viking to raze a village!)
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To: flowerplough
If only we were as cool, tolerant and awesome as the British. It's so embarrassing to me that they have a black PM, but we're far too racist to have a black President.

Oh, wait...

15 posted on 08/14/2009 6:15:06 AM PDT by LongElegantLegs (It takes a viking to raze a village!)
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To: flowerplough

No doubt that is why Juliet’s family disapproved. The writer sees right through those bunch of peckerwoods.


16 posted on 08/14/2009 6:15:23 AM PDT by doodad
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To: flowerplough
Uhhh.... Kenneth Branagh’s film of “Much Ado About Nothing” had Denzel Washington play the Italian Prince “Don Pedro” back in 1993.

A black man playing an Italian role in a Shakespeare play?

Not that big of a deal.

17 posted on 08/14/2009 6:15:50 AM PDT by Anitius Severinus Boethius
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To: brwnsuga

That is pretty horrible. :(


18 posted on 08/14/2009 6:16:46 AM PDT by Sloth (Irony: Freepers who call Ron Paul a "nut" but swallow all the birth certificate conspiracy crap.)
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To: flowerplough
While this might be big news in America

Um....why?
19 posted on 08/14/2009 6:18:21 AM PDT by cripplecreek (Seniors, the new shovel ready project under socialized medicine.)
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To: Anitius Severinus Boethius
Kenneth Branagh’s film of “Much Ado About Nothing” had Denzel Washington play the Italian Prince “Don Pedro” back in 1993.

And even then, 16 years ago, nobody raised an eyebrow.

20 posted on 08/14/2009 6:18:34 AM PDT by Sloth (Irony: Freepers who call Ron Paul a "nut" but swallow all the birth certificate conspiracy crap.)
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To: Sloth

Precisely.


21 posted on 08/14/2009 6:20:07 AM PDT by Anitius Severinus Boethius
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To: cripplecreek

I don't know: I always though he was a pretty decent coach.

22 posted on 08/14/2009 6:20:42 AM PDT by andy58-in-nh (America does not need to be organized: it needs to be liberated.)
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To: brwnsuga

Wow. Sad story, indeed. :(


23 posted on 08/14/2009 6:21:16 AM PDT by RushIsMyTeddyBear
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To: brwnsuga
If you look at intERracial rape statistics you’ll find that its heavily skewed toward black men raping white women. This came to the fore in 2006 in Durham, NC when a black woman, Crystal Mangum, falsely accused three white Duke students of gang raping her. A white on black gang rape is a crime that has not been reported in at least the last ten years. Not to say it couldn't happen. Plenty of the reverse however. That being said, the vast majority of rapes are intrAracial and often between people who already know each other.
24 posted on 08/14/2009 6:21:57 AM PDT by Locomotive Breath
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To: flowerplough

Next thing you know Ralph Kramden from the Honeymooners is going to be black.


25 posted on 08/14/2009 6:21:57 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: flowerplough
Has Anyone Noticed That Romeo Is Black?

Does anyone really care?

26 posted on 08/14/2009 6:23:24 AM PDT by Roccus (My anger is manufactured.......................................in the WHITE HOUSE and CONGRESS!!)
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To: brwnsuga

well, then there’s that! :)


27 posted on 08/14/2009 6:26:14 AM PDT by RexBeach
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To: dfwgator
Those bigoted Americans will really lose it if they ever make Captain James West black.


28 posted on 08/14/2009 6:29:39 AM PDT by Sloth (Irony: Freepers who call Ron Paul a "nut" but swallow all the birth certificate conspiracy crap.)
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To: 1rudeboy; flowerplough
Somebody should tell Mr Page “been there, done that.”

My girl's high school drama class had a black Romeo about three years ago and the cast and audience was at least 80% white.

The only thing everybody said was stuff like “Darn good play.”

29 posted on 08/14/2009 6:33:29 AM PDT by PeteB570 (NRA - Life member and Black Rifle owner)
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To: flowerplough

Well, I am not worked up about a black man kissing a white woman on stage. My real fear would be if they went back to the way it was in Shakespeare’s time ... all male actors. Bleagh!


30 posted on 08/14/2009 6:33:35 AM PDT by Dr. Sivana (There is no salvation in politics.)
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To: flowerplough
And we can all look forward to watching Romeo and Julio next week!
31 posted on 08/14/2009 6:36:41 AM PDT by cartan
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To: Roccus
Um, actually, I noticed that it's a black guy who noticed and cared.

Somebody tell me, who are the ones who are all wrapped up in race?

32 posted on 08/14/2009 6:48:30 AM PDT by Axeslinger (Where has my country gone?)
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To: Locomotive Breath

Wow, I wasn’t talking about RAPE. I was talking about people consenting to be together. There are alot of white women who pursue black men, because that is their preference. I live in a military town where there are oogobs of interracial marriages, the majority of which are white women married to black men.


33 posted on 08/14/2009 6:57:12 AM PDT by brwnsuga (Proud, BLACK, Beautiful, Conservative!!!)
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To: silverleaf

Othello was never Negroid.

he was a Moor...a north African Caucasoid

Romeo was a Montague Italian in the late 1500s per Bill Shakespeare (another cracker btw) and to make Romeo black is just stupid and is of course political and historically inaccurate.

If this writer thinks Britain doesn’t have race issues then he’s one ill informed play attendee.

The need to make white characters black in historical context is because of the actual dearth of actual black historical figures in much written context period.

That is what happens when a group is cut off from the developing world for however many 10,000s of years since the Sahara went too dry. I mean my bad. I’m sorry. You guys got stuck and lagged as a group and now we are all supposed to feel bad about it and let you roll all over us and whine like little babies and we felt so bad we have now elected the Demon-In Chief to make up for it all.

How come Indigenous peoples in the Americas don’t get so much indulgence and pandered to?

They have been on basically the same fair ride.


34 posted on 08/14/2009 6:59:36 AM PDT by wardaddy (Aint it hard when you discover that He really wasnt where its at ....Bro.)
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To: flowerplough
I rather liked Denzel Washington as an Italian Prince in Kenneth Branagh's "Much Ado About Nothing."

Garde la Foi, mes amis! Nous nous sommes les sauveurs de la République! Maintenant et Toujours!
(Keep the Faith, my friends! We are the saviors of the Republic! Now and Forever!)

LonePalm, le Républicain du verre cassé (The Broken Glass Republican)

35 posted on 08/14/2009 7:02:28 AM PDT by LonePalm (Commander and Chef)
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To: wardaddy

Othello was a “moor”? I thought he was a “moop”!


36 posted on 08/14/2009 7:04:26 AM PDT by silverleaf (If we are astroturf, why are the democrats trying to mow us?)
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To: Sloth

Or if Ford Prefect from Hitchhiker’s Guide was black.


37 posted on 08/14/2009 7:12:44 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: silverleaf
Is Patrick Stewart white enough for ya?


38 posted on 08/14/2009 7:20:37 AM PDT by ReignOfError
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To: Locomotive Breath; silverleaf
Next, a white Othello...

I was thinking about a reversed Othello the other day, Othello as a white mercenary to a black African dictator.

I think it would be interesting, but try to find a set of black actors who would be willing to take part in it.

39 posted on 08/14/2009 7:26:12 AM PDT by PapaBear3625 (Public healthcare looks like it will work as well as public housing did.)
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To: flowerplough
Romeo is black. And no one cares. While this might be big news in America, ...

Doubt it. Get over yourself, Jason. You're just another dork who couldn't get a real job irrelevant of skin color.

40 posted on 08/14/2009 7:29:06 AM PDT by TigersEye (0bama: "I can see Mecca from the WH portico." --- Google - Cloward-Piven Strategy)
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To: ReignOfError

I suppose that having a race reversed “Othello” was... “cutting edge”?

I wonder that no one ever approached OJ Simpson to play Othello? Given his real life experience


41 posted on 08/14/2009 7:31:05 AM PDT by silverleaf (If we are astroturf, why are the democrats trying to mow us?)
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To: flowerplough
The writer's African-American-community-organizer/activist sensibilities made him think that a black man playing Romeo, in England, was important. But it ain't.

I would note that the guy who played the prince in last season's Metropolitan Opera production of Cinderella was also black; but I don't recall any articles over here in the Racist States that even mentioned his skin color.

ML/NJ

42 posted on 08/14/2009 7:33:55 AM PDT by ml/nj
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To: ReignOfError

I should have read further on the thread before posting my #39.


43 posted on 08/14/2009 7:35:11 AM PDT by PapaBear3625 (Public healthcare looks like it will work as well as public housing did.)
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To: brwnsuga

Fair point about consensual relationships, BUT to say that an interracial relationship is really the white women going after the black men is contradicted by the not consensual relationship of rape where it’s the black men going after the white women. So in the Mel Brooks context the black man saying “where’s the white women at?” is the stereotype supported by data. And in the modern era, the white men going after the black women because that’s what their slave holding grandaddies did is contradicted by the data.

For example, read this crap by a black Duke faculty member
http://www.thenewblackmagazine.com/view.aspx?index=660
Rape and the Black Woman

By Mark Anthony Neal

When a young black woman was allegedly raped, sodomized, robbed and beaten by members of the prestigious America’s Duke University Lacrosse team exactly a year ago, it was initially treated as little more than another case of “(privileged) boys gone wild”.

As word began to spread about the specifics of the case, various communities mobilized to lay claim to its significance. These groups include Durham, North Carolina residents with long-standing grievances against the University, activists rightfully protesting yet another incident of alleged sexual violence related to a college campus, members of various black communities who wanted to highlight the racist implications of the alleged assault and of course those who felt that too many people were rushing to judgment about the alleged rapists, well before the true facts of the case were established.

At the center of all of these claims and allegiances is the body of a young black woman, who in many ways has been continually assaulted, by the inability of the various narratives surrounding the case to take serious the realities of racialized sexual violence against women of color.

[snip]


44 posted on 08/14/2009 11:51:19 AM PDT by Locomotive Breath
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To: brwnsuga

Okay... I think you have issues. If it makes you feel better to think that white women are only with black men under duress...then its a free country. Think what you like. Insecurity is a b*tch.


45 posted on 08/14/2009 4:28:06 PM PDT by brwnsuga (Proud, BLACK, Beautiful, Conservative!!!)
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