Inspired by The Meeting by Jeff Stetson
Scene 1 – To support or Reject Script
[“Wade in The Water” as the ensemble put chairs in place and set the 1st scene]
Classroom and Church actors S.L. Future Airways S.R. Obviously not obstructing 1st play)
[Chorus singing: Wade in the Water]
Pastor: Brothers and Sisters, thank you for being here this evening and sharing your thoughts with us.
Chorus: Amen (hallelujah, praise the lord)
Pastor: Thank you for caring for each other in these difficult times
Chorus: Amen (hallelujah, praise the lord)
Pastor: I asked you here tonight because we have a special guest who wishes to speak to our community. His name is Malcolm X.
[Malcolm X enters]
Chorus: [different responses]
Pastor: Those of you who wish to hear his words stay seated.
Father: Hell no! Forgive me Father but I do not believe that this is the place for a man of his notoriety to speak.
Wife: My husband, Amos is right; the Lord says violence isn’t the answer. We are peaceful people.
Pastor: But it is important that we are open to everyone’s views. We should hear what he has to say.
Amos: I have heard what he has to say – an eye for an eye – we must take our rights by any means necessary. And I think there will be bloodshed! (/blood)
Son1: Pappy, I heard him speak too and I heard it different. The old ways, the ways of your time is over. We’ve got to stand up and make ourselves heard.
Amos: Sit down boy – what d’you know about rights?
Son 1: I know I’ve got some, which is more than you do!
Wife: Don’t you talk to your father like that; he’s worked hard to make a good life for us…
Son 1: A good life! You call this a good life? Working 12 hours a day for a dime, sleeping on the floor ‘cos we ain’t got enough beds; eating leftovers. Tell me what’s good about my life!
Young man 1: I ain’t never even had a life. I’ve been treated like a nobody . I got to stand at the back of the bus so white people sit at the front. I got to walk on the road so white people can have the sidewalk.
Young man 2: Ain’t that the truth. When ever I’m thirsty and want to drink water in the fountain I am refused because it’s a white only fountain and the black one is on the other side of the town its not fair, the toilets are even segregated its ridiculous, we need to hear what Malcolm X has to say.
Young Man 1: We are all tired of being treated like this. It’s time somebody stood up for us and I want to hear what this Malcolm X has to say. He could bring a change…
Father: I can tell you now what he’s going to bring – he’s going to bring trouble, trouble like we never seen – and you let him in!
Son 1: Yes, I’ll let him in because he stands for something Pappy. You’ve never stood for nothing.
Father: What you mean boy, take that back
Son1: No way dad-
Father: Boy don’t lemme take my belt off
Son 1: I’m not scared no more, go ahead.
Pastor: Amos, stop! It hurts me to see you like this. Please calm yourselves and make peace.
Wife: He’s young, he sees things differently. He has his whole life in front of him.
Young man 1: If he wants a life he’s got to fight for it, ‘cos it ain’t gonna change without us doing something.
Young man 2: If he wants a fight, then I’ll join him.
Pastor: Children please… Take your seats, calm yourselves.
[All sing “We Shall Overcome”]
Malcolm X: Unity…You’re unity is sitting around a camp fire while the cross
is burning singing, “we shall overcome”…If you’re really for unity you’d be singing, “we shall come over”! Every time there’s an injustice, we shall come over. Every time there’s a black woman being frightened by a white face behind a white hood, we shall come over…Every time and anytime there’s a need to stop white people from persecuting black people,
WE – [all stand up]
SHALL – [take hold of chair]
COME – [turn it around]
OVER! – [place and sit on chair now facing opposite way]
Scene 2 – Just Words
[Enter Miss Johnson]
Miss Johnson: For today’s Black History lesson we are going to be looking at…
Jazz: Sorry I’m late Miss- Hey wassup my niggas!
Mundeep and Michael: Wassup my nigga
[Jazz spuds Mundeep and Michael. Goes to spud John but is blanked by him]
Miss Johnson: Jazz! Stand up
[Malcolm X and Jazz stand up. Everyone remains frozen as Malcolm speaks]
Malcolm X : I had a dream we had been dead for some time.. the time it takes to mis-educate…
Jazz: What Miss?
Miss Johnson: What do you think you are saying?
Jazz: I’m just saying hello Miss, nothing wrong with that.
Miss Johnson: There is something wrong with that.
Rose: Actually Miss, I agree with you. I find it very offensive.
Michael: Why? What’s it to you, you’re not even black!
John: Weren’t you taught that word is bad?
Jazz: We’re just saying what’s going on to each other, to my mates. What’s bad about that?
Michael : Yeah, that’s right. He’s talking to me, so he can say that to me, I’m happy with it, right?
Mundeep: I’m okay with it too.
Benny: So can I say it too?
Miss Johnson: So how is it that you can say it to each other but he can’t? Is it because he is white ?
Mundeep: No Miss, this ain’t about colour it’s about friendship and we’re just not that close, you get me?
Miss Johnson: No I’m not getting you at all, because when I was young you just weren’t allowed to say that word because it meant something negative, something derogatory. Haven’t you heard of the Civil Rights Movement?
Jazz:Yes. We all know about Martin…
Michael : Luther King and that other guy…Mar …Mal… Whatsisname?
All: Malcolm X
Miss Johnson: Okay you know the names, but do you know about the struggle?
Benny: We did it in history , but like in Year 8, so I can’t remember.
Rosie: Were black people protesting?
Miss Johnson: Yes they were but what change did they want and what methods did they use to achieve that change?
John: Change to what? There’s always prejudice.
Benny: My parents are from Poland, I get called builder.
Jazz: I’m from Somali they call me Internet Cafe or Pirate, big deal.
Rosie: My parents are from Turkey, what they gonna call me, Shish Kebab! It’s offensive.
John: They’re all names. If a white guy calls a black guy Nigga, its seen as racist. But if they’re friends and they’re tight, it’s different. I think it depends on how it’s used.
Miss Johnson: Well you need to remember. We all need to remember; because words are not just words, they are weapons.
Malcolm X: I care about survival like Martin Luther King. I care about the quality of that survival. No. I don’t seek violence. I seek to stop it and I’ll stop it by any means necessary. I have that as a duty. You know, I had a dream tonight. I’m sorry, that could be Dr.King’s line. This dream I had… we had both been dead for some time.. the time it takes to mis-educate the average American… Young black men and women didn’t know who we were. They knew nothing about the movement…the struggle. It was as if it had never happened. I woke up in a cold sweat, shaking, confused. You know, Martin, I have seen my own death countless nights, but that vision was never as frightening as that dream.
Scene 3 – Future Airways
[as ensemble walk around chair as others line up to board planeThe stewardess is welcoming passengers onto the flight; she takes each person’s tickets and directs them to their seat. Captain and Malcolm are seated together at the front centre]
Air Hostess: Thank you for flying with Future Airways. Mr Kay, your seat is here sir… Mr Jenwa, welcome back… you can sit here. Oh Mr Edgar, it’s an absolute pleasure! Your seat is here sir. Please make yourself comfortable. … We will be serving refreshments shortly.
Captain: Will passengers please take their seats for Flights B156 to Jamaica, we are now ready to depart
Businessman: Excuse me but I think you’re bag is on my seat
Rapper: [on his phone]… So I was saying to her like – I need more dancers
Businessman: Excuse me, I need to sit down and your bag is in the way
Rapper: Whatever, man, I paid for this seat and I’m making a call – I’m busy
Businessman: I’ve paid for this seat and I’ve got the ticket so YOU need to move. Please.
Football Fan: Hay… Do you know who that is? You’re sitting next to Oliver Edgar, the International Footballer!
Oil Tycoon: [Shakes his head] Never heard of him- who does he play for?
Football Fan: For Barcelona. Cost them $95 million dollars. He is mega! You don’t know him? [Indicates to the footballer]
Footballer: [Nods to the audience in a self – satisfied way]
Oil Tycoon: [shrugs and gets comfortable in his seat]
Football Fan: [Plucks up the courage and goes over to the Footballer’s seat to shake his hand] You’re Oliver Edgar aren’t you? Man you’re something! I’ve seen every game you’ve played this season…
[Awkward silence as the Footballer looks out the window]
Oil Tycoon: Excuse me sir, but this gentleman is talking to you
Footballer: I don’t do hands
Malcolm X: [to the audience] Don’t do hands?
Football Fan: You really know how to disrespect your fans, didn’t take long to forget where you came from
[Football Fan and Oil Tycoon shake their heads and sit back in their seats…. Football player looks out the window]
Businessman: I’m talking to you. I’ve been very patient but we’re going to take off in a minute!
Air Hostess: [to the Businessman] Sir, you need to take your seat now.
Businessman: Well I would take my seat if this mmm… black gentleman would move his bag
Rapper: What do you mean … black gentleman? I don’t like the way you said that. I’ve got a First Class ticket too you know.
Businessman: [under his breath] you might have a ticket but it doesn’t mean you belong in first class
Footballer: What did you say?
Businessman: No nothing…
Oil Tycoon: Say what you have to say
Businessman: I said, this man might have a tickets but he doesn’t belong here in first class
Malcolm X: [to the audience] I thought we would all belong in the future
Footballer: What do you mean he doesn’t belong, what makes you belong here?!?
Football Fan: He paid for his ticket!
Footballer: Looks like your no first classer….
Oil Tycoon: Like this man said, he paid for his ticket so he must be.
Footballer: [To Oil Tycoon] Who are you anyway? You don’t decide who sits in first class and who doesn’t… [To Businessman] I’ve got some personal advice for you…. See that sign, economy? Follow it to the back of the plane.
Air Hostess: Gentlemen! Please!! You all need to take your seats now…
Malcolm X: [to the audience] We will not be segregated again will we?
[The Rapper reluctantly removes his bag and puts it by his feet.
FX “Plane taking off”
[All passengers sat forward in their chair, place arms on arm rest, all lean back in time as flight takes off, group shakes with the turbulence and levels out]
Captain: Ladies and gentlemen we are on course to the sunshine isle of Jamaica! Please remain in your seats but you may remove your seatbelts. Future Airways wishes you a comfortable flight.
[Businessman goes to the toilets; the Rapper puts his bag back on the businessman’s seat. When the Businessman sees the bag back on his seat he addresses the Rapper again]
Businessman: What do you think you’re playing at?!?!
Rapper: What is your problem man?! It’s me isn’t it, it’s because you can’t stand seeing a successful black man. Lets say it how it is, you are just another racist nobody!
Businessman: No I’m not…. I know lots of people like you, I just….
Footballer: He just called you a nigger!
Malcolm X: [to the audience] Not that word again…
Air Hostess: You all leave me no choice; I’m going to get the captain!
[The passengers wait awkwardly in silence looking at each other]
Captain: What seems to be the problem gentlemen?
Businessman: This guy has his bag on my seat… look I am a regular passenger on your airways and I don’t expect to be treated like this, you understand…
Rapper: This guy is racist; all this man has done is shout abuse at me, telling me what I can and can’t do, I am the victim here!! I know my rights! I want justice; I can sit at the front of the plane if I want to!!
[Rapper sheepishly moves his bag to his feet]
Businessman: I just want my seat!
Rapper: Its there, what are you talking about…. It’s not about the seat anymore anyway….. is it.
Captain: [to the Air Hostess] what is going on here?
Rapper: I am being completely persecuted!
Malcolm X: Persecuted!!?!?
Air Hostess: Persecuted?!?!?
Captain: One at a time
Air Hostess: You don’t even know the meaning of the word….persecuted? Martin Luther King and Malcolm X struggled for years to fight persecution and injustice, you come along and think you can buy your place in society and demand respect when you don’t deserve it!
Do you know what month it is? Yes OCTOBER… Black History Month, we should be thankful for the bravery of those people, they really lived a life victimisation, not being given the right to vote, not having a choice of where to live, to have an education and being able to ride the bus on a seat at the front.
Rapper: [Stands and puts hand on Business man’s shoulder] OK I’m sorry man. I know you didn’t call me a nigger. I guess I took it a bit far
Businessman: And I shouldn’t have called you a black man. Maybe I went a bit far. I’m sorry too.
Footballer: Sorry for any inconvenience and problems. This happens to me a lot and I get a bit agitated sometimes. Here take this autograph for your son or daughter.
Football Fan: I’m sorry for disturbing you Mr Edgar. My kids will be so pleased.
Oil Tycoon: It’s good to see you all sorting it out in a civilised way.
Captain: I’m so pleased you have sorted out your problems in such a peaceful manner. Malcolm X and Martin Luther King would be proud of you guys. Now for the life of me I don’t know who is flying this plane – I better get back to the cockpit
Air Hostess: Whenever there is an injustice, we shall come over and…
ALL: WE SHALL OVERCOME !!