WXXI AM News

Connections: Lessons from "Blues for Mister Charlie"

Feb 14, 2020

A powerful play at the Multi-Use Community Cultural Center is generating conversations about race. “Blues for Mister Charlie” is an award-winning work by James Baldwin that’s loosely based on the assassination of Emmett Till. 14-year-old Till was lynched in Mississippi after being accused of offending a white woman in a store. In the play, Richard Henry returns to the deep South from New York City to find his segregated home town embroiled in racism and hate. Heated encounters with a local white store owner lead to his murder and his family’s quest for justice. The play explores brutal moments of truth. 

This hour, we’re joined by the director and members of the cast to discuss Baldwin’s work and their goals for the production. In studio:

  • Gary DeWitt Marshall, director of “Blues for Mister Charlie”
  • Almeta Whitis, actor who plays Mother Henry
  • Richard Kendrick, actor who plays Parnell James