The Colored Museum

Topics: Racism, Race, African American Pages: 1 (398 words) Published: October 22, 2008
Racism is defined by Wikipedia as “the belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.” In other words, people believe that just because someone is a certain color or ethnicity, they are only capable of achieving certain things and certain people are naturally superior to others based on their race. While many argue that The Colored Museum is a racist play, I personally believe it is not. I think the idea behind the play was more about finding ones personal identity rather than racism. However, the play does point out racism and addresses how it was a problem in the past, but that does not mean it is a racist play. There is a difference between being racist and actually making the stereotypes and just describing the truth of how it really was. The opening scene, “Git On Board,” found on page 451, portrays slavery and how the slaves were treated. Miss Pat instructed the passengers on the airplane just like masters would instruct their slaves by telling them not to rebel or play the drums, but to fasten their seatbelts and sing. This scene is not racist; it is just showing the audience how slaves were treated. In the seventh act, “The Last Mama-on-the-Couch Play,” found on page 461, an African American family struggles with poverty and racism. Again, this scene is just portraying what a typical African American family went through when slavery and racism was taking place. The author himself is not making racist remarks, but showing what things were said and believed during that time. I think people are so caught up with this play being racist, that they overlook one of the most important goals the author was trying to accomplish. I believe Wolfe wanted African Americas to see their history and how they were limited by it, and by doing so, can find ways to move forward. As for white readers, he wants them to see how evil racism was and hope that they look at...
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