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The history and life of the Black male in America is one fraught with difficult and traumatic experiences in the past and present. In this story Caleed, a young man in his early 20s stands in an interview room talking about the people that he is surrounded by none of which look like him. He recognizes that everyone in the room is white except for him. He also recognizes how much the little things like the crisp white shirts stand out as well. He then takes us on a trip slightly back in time so that we can see how important and mentor his father was, but like many teenagers he didn't recognize it and he didn't appreciate it until many years later. It is the moment that his father shows him all of his battle scars from being nothing more than a Black man. Though his father grew up in a different time, in a different era, surrounded by different experiences unfortunately through time the situations for Black men have not drastically changed. One think Caleed’s father drilled into him was that he needed to look the part as to not scare his White counterparts. His long hair wasn’t professional, wouldn’t be accepted and would always hold him back. Caleed fought the stereotypes, graduated from high school and college and as he prepares for this first big job interview after the passing of his father, he must reflect on how far he’s come. A coming-of-age story that discusses how the hair of Black people has historically been seen as a piece to be connected to professionalism or the lack thereof. But like all things we too shall overcome this buy showing up and showing out. *Performer needs to be African American, but gender could be changed.

In the Deep End

  • (Scene opens with Caleed, an African American young man, in his mid-twenties. He sits nervously in the lobby looking at all of the other job candidates around him. He speaks to the audience as if he has stepped outside of himself. Pointing as he describes each person.) Look at this dude, White dude, button up crisp white shirt. So crisp you might think his momma ironed it for him. (giggles as he looks over the man’s shoulder) Got his picture on his resume, that’s cute. (looking) Graduated from… upstate, private school. Okay. (nodding) I see you Mr. White shirt. (Goes to another) The only woman in the room, she White too. Damn Miss how does it feel to be you? Is this intimidating or do you think you have an edge on all the White men in the room because you, like me, are the only. You probably understand a little bit of what I’m feeling. (smiles) But hell you got on a crisp white shirt too. (to audience) What is it with White people and these damn white shirts? (Laughs, beat) My Pops… he would always tell me, “Being Black can’t be the only reason you stand out in a room full of White people.” (smiles) Yeah. He told me I gotta be more, do more, all that… just to be able to sit in a room (he looks around for a second) with all these… White people.

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