Play to highlight black history

By Tanika Ely

Tonight Campus Jam Entertainment will host its Second Annual Black History Month play, called “The Hustler in All of Us.”

Calvin King, a graduate student in business who is president and founder of Campus Jam Entertainment, said the play will focus on the various struggles blacks have faced throughout history and still face today. King, who also wrote the play, said the production moves through four time segments, taking on issues prevalent during slavery, the Civil Rights Era, the movement for women’s suffrage and present-day life.

“It’s about blacks in different situations and how they adapt to what’s going on around them,” King said.

King said he believes the play is important because it highlights issues about African-American history.

“Blacks should know where they came from and where they’re going,” King said. “There seems to be apathy for other cultures beside your own. If the world wants to become more inclusive then we have to embrace other people and their culture.”

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King said the play is a comedy and hopes it will entertain college students of all backgrounds.

Gregory Wilson, senior in LAS and an actor in the play, said its message has serious value. His roles include that of the slave master and a racist hiring manager.

“The lines are tough,” he said. “But they’re meant to depict the time period as accurately as possible.”

Wilson, also a member of Campus Jam Entertainment, said he hopes the play will help others understand the ideological and verbal abuse blacks endured to gain their current status and the struggles they still face today.

“People in this country don’t like to talk about race,” he said. “It’s unfortunate.”

Wilson said he believes the play will come together nicely and should be entertaining to everyone.

“It’s going to be great. Calvin did a phenomenal job writing the play,” he said.

Ashley Green, junior in business and production manager, said she also believes the play will promote a wide range of viewpoints. She said it not only focuses on the frustrations of past struggles, but also emphasizes the everyday challenges of black college students today. She said the last skit in the play is a story about four college students who all choose different life paths.

“The University student body can benefit from seeing these different perspectives,” she said.

King said although the play cost about $500 to produce, it will be free of charge as an incentive to get people to come.

“I hope the play is as informative as it is uplifting,” he said.