WHERE: Actors Company (LET LIVE THEATER) 916 N. Formosa Av (+ Live-Stream)
WHY: Black Woman In Deep Water was a breath of fresh air. As Makena floated onto the stage I was immediately transported to another time when choices came hard, in harsh conditions, for Black bodies. Makena brings us the powerful and heartbreaking story of Margaret Garner, a woman forced to make a horrific choice between a life of slavery or death.
It was the way Makena took what could be a tragic story but instead made space for love that became a lesson for the heart. It was the way music came from Makena’s voice that turned pain into poetry. It was the way she made room for silence while allowing us to take her in. It was the way she bridged the gap from Africa to America as she began to speak in the mother tongue that stirred old emotions and the everlasting old questions many Black Americans hold in the back of their mind and hearts: Where do I come from? What part of Africa am I birthed from? Ghana? Nigeria? Sudan?
Yet as I watched Makena onstage, the feeling of being lost began to fade. In her performance I found a connection to the past and it was not a reminder, but a memory of my ancestors’ perseverance and the whisper of Dr. Maya Angelou’s words: “I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise. I rise. I rise.”