OCTOBER 19 – NOVEMBER 13, 2016
2020 SHANNON PL. SE, WASHINGTON DC 20020
Steven A. Butler’s Chocolate Covered Ants offers audiences unique insight into the minds of African American men in the age of Ferguson, Baltimore, and the subsequent news stories of police brutality. The play sold out two runs in Maryland last year, but you have another opportunity to see it at the Anacostia Playhouse starting tonight.
The story is told from the perspective of a psychologist undertaking comprehensive research on the mental, social, and physical toll that modern life in America takes on black men.
“The title speaks to the way black men feel in society. Small, but strong. They can move things far heavier than their weight. One character compares himself to an ant.
In this era, if you’re Trayvon Martin, if you’re just trying to get home with your Skittles and your iced tea, someone can still shoot you down. If you’re a typical teenager in Florida where I’m from, if you happen to be listening to music with your friends – like I certainly did – somebody can shoot you dead. You can’t help but feel small. The title gives voice to how we as black men feel when we are so devalued and dehumanized in our society.
I’d like to think that we have come farther on race than we have. We have a black president now, but sometimes you have to take two steps back to make one step forward. There is certainly a renewed sense of vitriol against black folks, including ones who are trying to do the right thing. It’s like we are racist to think that we deserve a foothold into our society. It’s these old ways of thinking that keep us pigeon-holed. Most of us are working hard everyday trying to make our country better.
But we feel like ants, because we’re stepped on.” – Courtney Baker-Oliver