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SHADOW/LAND- The Clearing, Part 1: A Useable Past

On Demand through April 13, 2022

New Orleans has both the legacies of man-made disasters and rich culture traditions. This episode explores how the shadow/land contends with and makes use of the city’s history.

This conversation includes: Soyica Colbert (host), Erika Dickerson-Despenza (playwright), Candis C. Jones (director), Jack Moore (Director of New Artists), Imani Perry (scholar), Cara Page (scholar), and Lauren A. Whitehead (dramaturgical consultant).  

"The Clearing," references a space of healing in Toni Morrison's Beloved. In Beloved, the Clearing is a place in the woods where one of the characters, Baby Suggs, held her religious and spiritual gatherings. Baby Suggs called the black formerly enslaved community together to laugh, dance, cry and reclaim their bodies, bodies that had been used in the service of trans-Atlantic slavery. The ancillary episodes like shadow/land provide a space for healing and also call forth Congo Square, which is located at a clearing, apocalypse which is clearing, and the Yoruba deity Oya, who rules hurricanes and tornadoes and is known to clear the way. The Clearing, our ancillary episodes of post-show discussions, honors Toni Morrison and all the great black women writers and healers that have paved the way.