He didn’t know a black person until he was eighteen. It wasn’t his fault. They just thought it was better that way. He spent most of his adult life searching for his family who were black like him.
It’s a story explored in his previous award winning play Something Dark. In Why I don’t Hate White People Lemn continues the journey but not for family this time. There was another subject, an abstract: Race.
He humorously investigates why it is that he doesn’t hate white people. In the investigations he exposes/builds ideas as solutions to race as a problem such as his anti slavery workshop where he chains up his students and leaves them in the classroom over night and the opening of the Richard Pryor centre for equality and the telling of jokes.
Why I don’t Hate White People is a whirlwind tour of race as seen through the unique and intensely personal perspective of one man’s life. He is seeking a truth, trying to find if there is something he is missing in the quagmire of race relations. Many people of the great cities come from similar towns as himself.
Written and performed by Lemn Sissay
Directed by John E McGrath