The News' criticism of Ujima's production of "A Matter of Intent" reminds me of when people want to discuss the issue of racial tensions in our society, but without that whole messy American history of race and class thing. How could a serious theater critic not read the program and see that the play is based in 1960? A time when yes, many black women did day work, and again, yes, often for white rich ladies who wore gloves. And is it so farfetched to think that a white male district attorney in 1960 would refer to people who were black as "her kind"? (This quoted line, by the way, was never uttered by the D.A. It is nowhere in the script.)
Benjamin Siegel ends his review with, "In 2005, we're capable of more realistic stories in which whites and blacks conquer racial injustice together." Had the story been told with a 2005 setting, he would have a point.
Also, doesn't it seem a little 1960ish for Siegel to think only of whites and blacks when referring to racial injustice? What about racism against indigenous peoples, Hispanics, Middle Easterners, Asians, etc? One simply cannot watch this play and focus only on the black and white racial dynamic unless that is one's primary focus anyway. The review of "A Matter of Intent" clearly missed the playwright's intent.