July 30, 2005

Plug pulled on controversial play about KKK

A controversial play about Ku Klux Klan rallies held in Stone Mountain, GA has had it's plug pulled before it's scheduled performance August 29, because the play's director felt the opening monologue was in "bad taste."

The play, written by black playwright Calvin Ramsey, was an accurate portrayal of the annual KKK rallies held for many years, first on top of Stone Mountain, then, in later years at a field near the base of the granite monolith.

On the nights the Ku Klux Klan held rallies near the poor black neighborhood of Shermantown in Stone Mountain, the residents could hear the racial epithets and hate-filled language lash the air, loosed through big loudspeakers in a nearby pasture.

Now, a play about one of those rallies, in 1940, has sparked controversy and the cancellation of the performance at a small theater in the Atlanta suburb.

The owners of Art Station had agreed to stage a reading of "Shermantown — Baseball, Apple Pie and the Klan" on Aug. 27, but pulled the plug after the director decided the opening monologue was in bad taste.

Director David Thomas said this week his board was in agreement that the play, by Calvin Ramsey, was the wrong play at the wrong time in the wrong place.

"The language in the monologue is not only racy, it's inciting, and slanderous about Jews and Catholics," said Thomas.

"We have been in this community for 20 years and work hard to build a relationship with the people who live here. We didn't feel this is appropriate material for our stage."

Ramsey's play is about a salesman from out of town who finds himself in the historically black Shermantown neighborhood of Stone Mountain the night of one of these annual KKK rallies.

Sue Ellen Owens, director of the DeKalb History Center, who is funding the play, says the history is important, and is working to find another venue for the play.

"Although some parts of the play may make the audience uncomfortable, the events and strong language are indicative of the times," said Owens. "You have to look at history, warts and all."

Reverend William Morris, who was born and has lived in Shermantown 77 years said Friday he didn't understand the controversy. "There's nothing offensive about it," he said. "It's the way it was."

It's sad that so many people are so mired in political correctness that they will do whatever is necessary to whitewash accurate portrayals of history in order to assuage their self-worth, and in some cases, self-guilt.

The past is not always pretty. But learning from the truth of our past will help us all grow in the future.

Posted by: mhking at 08:42 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
Post contains 454 words, total size 3 kb.

1 As another Atlanta conservative, I think it is rather interesting, and disgusting, that complaints were raised against this, but no one complained about the re-enactment of lynchings that took place with actors in "whiteface". Double standard, anyone?

Posted by: Oze McCallum at July 30, 2005 11:34 AM (Xw7hZ)

Posted by: 巨人倍増 at July 27, 2011 03:37 AM (3jMDH)

Hide Comments | Add Comment

Comments are disabled. Post is locked.
14kb generated in CPU 0.0159, elapsed 0.3839 seconds.
41 queries taking 0.3774 seconds, 96 records returned.
Powered by Minx 1.1.6c-pink.