A friend and collaborator took this picture as I got
into character to rehearse a theatrical piece.
My friend snapped this shot as I danced and spoke
In fact, I was switching into character, though no one
in my circle of friends knew what that was.
It was a dark time in America, but one goes on with life.
This is a journal entry from the day of that shot:
July 16, 1987
It is July and I am still alive.
The AIDS epidemic is in its sixth year and those six years have passed slowly and cruelly. I had hoped that AIDS would fade like a fad, but it is still around and killing, and the fact that a reactionary movement has gained momentum by openly discussing it as a form of divine retribution sickens me to my core.
When a slave knows and takes his rightful place in the World he is happy
and healthy and unwilling to run away; White man’s burden is keeping
slaves in their happy place.
“If the white man attempts to oppose the Deity’s will, by trying to make the negro anything else than “the submissive knee-bender” (which the Almighty declared he should be), by trying to raise him to a level with himself, or by putting himself on an equality with the negro; the negro will run away.” Wikipedia
“According to my experience, the “genu flexit”–the awe and reverence, must be exacted from them, or they will despise their masters, become rude and ungovernable, and run away. On Mason and Dixon’s line, two classes of persons were apt to lose their negroes: those who made themselves too familiar with them, treating them as equals, and making little or no distinction in regard to color; and, on the other hand, those who treated them cruelly, denied them the common necessaries of life, neglected to protect them against the abuses of others, or frightened them by a blustering manner of approach, when about to punish them for misdemeanors. Before the negroes run away, unless they are frightened or panic-struck, they become sulky and dissatisfied. The cause of this sulkiness and dissatisfaction should be inquired into and removed, or they are apt to run away or fall into the negro consumption. When sulky and dissatisfied without cause, the experience of those on the line and elsewhere, was decidedly in favor of whipping them out of it, as a preventive measure against absconding, or other bad conduct.