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THE COLOR PURPLE and Generational Trauma

Why We Theater

THE COLOR PURPLE and Generational Trauma

In all its forms, The Color Purple is a powerful account of generational trauma in the Black community. The novel by Alice Walker was published in 1982 and won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1983 before being adapted into a movie by Steven Spielberg starring Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey.

1 h 23 mins
2/3/22

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In all its forms, The Color Purple is a powerful account of generational trauma in the Black community. The novel by Alice Walker was published in 1982 and won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1983 before being adapted into a movie by Steven Spielberg starring Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey. In 2005, the musical version opened on Broadway starring LaChanze with a book by Marsha Norman and a score by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray. Ten years later, the musical came back to Broadway in a 2015 revival and won the Tony for Best Revival of a Musical.

Actor Isaiah Johnson, who played the role of Mister in the original Broadway cast of the 2015 revival production, opposite Cynthia Erivo, joins us to discuss the musical as we look at the character of Mister and generational trauma. What does it mean to carry the trauma of your ancestors? How does this type of trauma affect people, specifically Black Americans? What tools are there to heal this trauma for those experiencing it? And how can non Black people support Black healing? Experts Curtis Smith, Cymone Fuller, and Dr. Schekeva Hall weigh in, as well.

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Referred to in this episode

Ruthie Fierberg, Host

Ruthiefierberg.com

IG: @whywetheater / T: @whywetheater

IG: @ruthiefierceberg / T: @RuthiesATrain

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