“Before you move on the enemy without, you have to move on the enemy within.”
This is the ultimate nexus of Richard Wesley’s 1971 play Black Terror. Black Americans generate approximately 2 trillion dollars a year in the national economy, which is equivalent to the 12th largest country in the world. As a community of consumers we have collective power like no other.
And so the questions that rise for me as an artist are: What is blocking our ability to organize as Black people? Who is the enemy within us that hasn’t allowed us to ferment the change we need in this country? Why do we feel stagnant about the conditions of this country? I believe we have the power to make the change we wish to see, and through this film, will have the ability to see ourselves under these particular given circumstances and social zip code..
I wanted to direct the film adaptation of Black Terror because even though the play is now celebrating its 50th year anniversary, the issues are still very present. The themes are grounded in the cement of the past, the stubbornness of the present and the dogged determination the future reverts back to since before the days of enslavement and Jim Crow.
It is my hope this “pilm” will activate discourse, allowing audiences to engage with others, to strategize pathways forward. How might we all create a future for our children that will give them a chance to begin living the elusive American dream we desire? Black Terror gives us an oppoirtuntiy to begin to design that future now.
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