The Good Negro
Joseph Papp Public Theater/LuEsther Hall(New York, NY)
425 Lafayette Street
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by Kristin Salaky - March 20, 2009
If the gang at Madison Avenue were looking for the perfect spokesmodel to help win support for the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s, they couldn't have done better than Rosa Parks, a sweet-looking, modestly dressed woman who spoke with quiet dignity. Or Ezell Blair, Jr., David Richmond, Joseph McNeil and Franklin McCain, the conservatively dressed, well groomed college freshmen who started the Woolworth lunch counter sit-in. White people who feared the consequences of desegregating America could have their views softened with a look at these clean-cut 'credits to their race' (as the old saying went) who were everyday people just like them. And if that sounds like a crass way of referring to the brave souls who put themselves on the front lines in the fight for equality, well that's a major point playwright Tracy Scott Wilson makes with her new drama, The Good Negro.