by Christopher T. “Amunubenheh” Brown and Almeta Whitis, Storyteller © 2020,
based upon a poem of the same name written by Christopher T. “Amunubenheh” Brown © 1988
The Mendicant Story Theatre, along with the Pandemic Play Reading Series presents this Restorative Justice Process Piece featuring Almeta Whitis as The Mendicant. A Q & A will follow the performance.
Technical Direction, lighting, set and props by Larry Moss and Kelly Cheatle, co-founders of Airigami Studios.
Premise: Can an Arts-based Process Initiate Restorative Justice?
Definition: Restorative justice is an approach to justice in which one of the responses to a crime is to organize a meeting between the victim and the offender, sometimes with representatives of the wider community. The goal is for them to share their experience of what happened, to discuss who was harmed by the crime and how, and to create a consensus for what the offender can do to repair the harm from the offense. This may include a payment of money given from the offender to the victim, apologies and other amends, and other actions to compensate those affected and to prevent the offender from causing future harm.
Grounded in traditional, culture-based storytelling, it is an “inner dialogue” that includes elements of history and memory via poetry, reconciliation commentary and songs drawn from Gospel, R&B and Negro Spirituals.
This “personal AND communal soliloquy” speaks to our 400 year sojourn as Black People in America. It reflects – a “Black Mother’s” visceral reaction to society’s pervasive decimation of her children.
Delivered by an Elder “Queen Mother of the African Diaspora” – in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder at hands of Minneapolis “peace officers” – it is a litany of many lives lost because of justice miscarried, beginning with Emmett Till to Rochester’s Daniel Prude. This work is presented, in the memory of Chadwick Boseman and our collective mourning for his passing.
It honors his spirit and life, as well as his extensive, nuanced body of work and accomplishments before his untimely demise.
This dramatic vignette is dedicated to all the Black, Brown, Red, Yellow and White lives that were and continue to be taken by America’s systemic indifference. It is for those souls who found themselves the victims of mistake, and unfortunately . . . the vassals of an ignored circumstance.