By Kimani Hamilton
His concern that this modern generation was still not being taught true Black History is what led Flint Mitchell to decide to write a play that teaches the true struggles of people of African descent in the United States. As part of Black History Month events across the City, Mitchell’s play “The Other Black History” will debut on Feb. 22-24, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 25, 2018, at 3 p.m. at the Ashé Power House Theater, on 1731 Baronne St.
“I have a theory that those too young to remember or know the Civil Rights Movement, are likely not to be civically engaged (i.e., vote, etc.) because they have no idea of the struggle their ancestors went through to gain them the right to vote,” Mitchell said.
“The Other Black History” is a Civil Rights play about a formerly incarcerated schoolteacher who is serving as a two-day detention monitor of four students. In the play, he teaches students about racial justice and how to face adversity. This lesson begins with slavery and ends with the Civil Rights Movement. Mitchell, a native of Lake Charles, La. said he first started writing in his late-twenties. He is an Adjunct Instructor in Public Health Program Implementation and Management at Tulane University and serves as Vice President of the Louisiana Children’s Research Center for Development and Learning.
As a W. K. Kellogg Foundation Community Leadership Network Fellow, Mitchell said he wrote his first play as part of his fellowship. In “The Other Black History,” Mitchell makes an effort to educate viewers on authentic Black History rather than the revised version of history that is learned in schools. Mitchell said he believes that history classes in public schools “whitewashes” the truth, romanticize the brutal facts, and excludes Blacks’ positive contributions to the United States.
He said he knew it would be challenging to persuade the government, school districts, and schools to teach what is accurate. He hopes the play will enlighten citizens on basic and controversial American facts.
Mitchell said he wrote the play because he believes that this generation does not understand the significance of Black History. He was inspired to write this play to affect change among young people.
“If they knew their history, maybe they would be engaged. Moreover, learning their history in school is unlikely because the history that is taught is revisionist,” he said. Mitchell defined his play as non-revisionist history – a history that does not romanticize colonialism and disparages people of color or minimizes their worth and contributions. After viewing this play Mitchell said he wants viewers to take away new knowledge, the courage to face oppression, and an understanding of the need for narrative change.
Tickets purchased after Feb. 16 are $20 and can be purchased at http://bit.ly/TheOtherBlackHistory2018.