NEC production of 'Imminently Yours' carried powerful message

Linda Armstrong | 8/19/2019, 3:31 p.m. | Updated on 8/19/2019, 3:32 p.m.
One of the purposes of Black Theatre is to powerfully tell our stories, enrich our lives and let the world ...
'Imminently Yours'

What Karimah depicts in this play, sadly is something that the government can and does get away with all the time. My family personally went through something like this, but not on the grand scale that Karimah is talking about. We had a summer home in Atlantic City during my entire childhood, right off the beach and by the beginning of the Broadwalk. As a child I remember being forced to go there for vacation, but after a while appreciating what my parents had. After several years went by the city came and decided that it wanted to level the building in that part of the community to make a parking lot. My mother received a letter telling her that the city was seizing the property through imminent domain and there was nothing she could do about it. We, as a family were so hurt to lose something that my parents had purchased and a home that had come to mean our place to rest and get away from it all. So, imagine the devastation that would be felt by an entire community that successfully kept its beauty, industriousness and accomplishments hidden from the world for generations, only to have one person ignorantly slip up and divulge everything.

When the government comes to take everything from this community the elders are upset that the younger generation in their family wasn’t taught the traditions of the family and made to understand the importance of the community that lived on the mountain, high up, away from the town. A community of proud, hardworking Black people, that the White town people thought were just living off of the scraps of the land, but actually were thriving! Karimah truly makes one realize the importance of telling our family and community traditions and stories to our younger generations and getting them to realize how important they are.

The cast delivered sterling performances. It was riveting to watch veterans, Fox, French and Jason plays these very stunning roles. Their characters were the keepers of the history, the keepers of the secrets--the storytellers. Which, of course in Black culture, are always the primary roles. Colette Bryce was moving as Edna, Nila Akilah Robinson was delightful as Mildred and Ryan Desaulniers was good as James.

As I said in the beginning, Black Theatre has a purpose and that is something filled by Karimah and always captured and delivered by the Negro Ensemble Company. Thank you.