Part 1: One Night in the lives of Slaves

One Night in the Lives of Slaves

Last year I gave a synopsis of a play I wrote on Black History. I promised to give you the play. It is again February and now here it is. As with many of my plays, their performances have been in churches and other arenas. Like the others, this play has had many titles. The title we are using this time:

One Night in the Lives of Slaves

Its’ copyright name is: The Way of Life [same story].

I added to the play to give voice to Whites. It was first written in the 1970’s for busy young African American Mothers with young children at Harmony Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. I was told these young women had jobs that did not allow a lot of time for rehearsals. We were all young mothers at the time. If you are interested in doing the play, please contact
Carrie Ware
424 Pittsburgh Street
Birmingham, Alabama 35217
The Way of Life
The scriptures for “The Way of Life” was given to me by Mrs. Louise O. Newman who lived on Franklin Road in Tuskegee, Alabama. She was a lady that was the president of the Montgomery District Missionary Society in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. She first presented a little script using some of these same scriptures. I could not attend her presentation but I asked her if I could use her work to write a play. When I presented my play to her she told me she could not see her work. Her husband said he could. They were good friends of my parents. They are all in heaven now but I am sure they would all be happy to see this play presented to the world.
I did not write this play to divide the races but to enlighten us all.

One Night in the Lives of Slaves

An old woman everyone loves on the plantation is called Auntie Jean. Auntie Jean sits in a rocking chair in her hut provided for slaves, working on a quilt singing “I Shall Not Be Moved”. Auntie Jean is interrupted by her niece.

Mary Jay: Oh, Auntie you sing so beau-ti-full. (She gives a little pause. then excitedly in a hurried, hushed tone) after the lights goes out in the big house, the guzs (girls) is a coming over. You see, late Friday, us guzs, wuzes we were in deem fields started singing one of deem old songs Brother Daniels loves to lead. Then suddenly it happen. I doesn’t know what it wuz, but we all felt it. It wuz like God Almighty had hit us with one of his great thunderbolts. We all started a shouting and a saying Hal-le-lu-jah! We just couldn’t stop. We all right then and there decided that we would go on and from that moment to live good and perfect lives.

Auntie Jean: Oh precious child, that’s the best news your old tired blind Auntie has heard since Masa Sullivan told me I don’t have to work no more.

Mary Jay: I don’t know Auntie Jean. We’ve changed. We’ve all changed. Instead of praising the Lord, Auntie Jean, we’ve started questioning Him.

Auntie: What child? How dare you question the Lord God Almighty!

A soft knock is heard at the door.

Mary Jay: Hush, here the guzs is now,(Mary Jay invites the girls in)

Auntie Jean: Come on in chillum and tell Auntie Jean how these old tired bones can unconfused you. Maybe I can say something to help you out.

to be continued

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