Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Video: “Black Boy” by Richard Wright

The American Place Theatre – Literature to Life Stage Presentation of Black Boy by Richard Wright. This first segment narrates Wright’s poverty-stricken childhood in which he experiences hunger and teaches himself to read.

Performed by Tarantino Smith

Adapted & Directed by Wynn Handman

Running time: 7 minutes

A verbatim adaptation of the classic American autobiographical work, Black Boy dramatizes Richard Wright’s journey from childhood innocence to adulthood in the Jim Crow South. The issues addressed in this novel still resonate in today’s cultural dialogue.

Having premiered at the Kennedy Center, this Literature to Life original was adapted for the stage in 2005 and toured to educational communities nationally. The show features fifty minutes of verbatim performance from the first half of this epic American novel. A tour de force, Tarantino Smith plays fifteen characters from Richard Wright’s past. The journey focuses on Richard’s hunger for knowledge and his fight to claim his basic human rights in a racist society.

Black Boy © 1944 Richard Wright.

Tarantino Smith performing in American Place Theatre’s Literature to Life presentation of “Black Boy,” by Richard Wright. Tarantino plays more than 15 characters in the production.

One comment on “Video: “Black Boy” by Richard Wright

  1. loranneke
    June 14, 2020

    I’m so, so moved by this…

    Like

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