Performing Blackness: Blackness Performed

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Radically unpredictable and critically significant, Black Male Revisited swept away pretenses and political correctness to reveal the complexities of identity and the emotional chaos that present itself when telling these hidden stories of the self.

Created and performed by Jaamil Olawale Kosoko, Black Male Revisited delved deep into the many facets of the black man’s psyche while examining the intersectionality of race, gender, and sexuality.

The dark space at the headquarters of Fringe Arts hosted a kaleidoscope of blackness. Sad blackness. Angry blackness. Rescued blackness. Incarcerated blackness. Lost blackness. Dead blackness.

Books by James Baldwin, Brenda Dixon Gottschild, Toni Morrison, among others, strewn through the space offering some semblance of intellectual endorsement and validation. Photographs of black men lay in disarray on the floor while the gloomy visual of an obituary—Abdul Jaamal Muhammad’s—sliced through me. The sadness I felt was followed by hopelessness, anger, and disappointment. There was a young man walking around with an iPad, live streaming the installation to a projection screen as the viewers inhaled everything around them. I stood in the space, not knowing what to think as Kosoko, a black man dressed in all white, gradually birthed himself into the performance arena reciting: 

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