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Black Is...


Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie, a Nigerian novelist has spoken about the danger of a single story. Until approaching the role of Mister Boop Boop Blocka in Everybody Black, I never realized how much I fell victim to allowing these singular stories dictate my identity as a first-generation Nigerian-American actress. Although I was thrilled to be working on this play, I felt somewhat unqualified; I didn’t feel “black” enough. After all, I didn’t see my full self or my cultural upbringing reflected back to me in what was considered “black culture.” Sharing this fear and insecurity in a room of black peers and artists was one of the scariest and yet most rewarding and life changing things I’ve done at UCSD. I soon came to find out that the other artists felt similarly. When they shared their individual stories it quickly became apparent how truly diverse all of our experiences were and how unseen or limited we have all felt at one point or another because of a certain narrative we have contorted ourselves to fit into and if we didn’t we simply did not exist. Mister Boop Boop Blocka allowed me to start telling a different kind of story, a story where I could bring my identity and culture, in essence, all of “my black” to the stage. And why not? Afterall, Black is Nigerian. Black is sweet. Black is shy. Black is soft. Black is quirky. Black is vulnerable. Black is lovable. Black is ditzy. Black is romantic. Black is innocent. Black is all this and so much more. Black is limitless

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