Among other themes, the show was a mirror for those in the Black community yearning for chastity. The main character, Max Disher (played by Dixon), decides to lighten his skin after meeting a white woman, Helen Givens (Jennifer Damiano), in the Savoy Ballroom during a night out. That he is willing to sacrifice his identity after a chance encounter with a woman is a longstanding criticism of some Black men: No matter how much support they are given to Black women. , they still see dating white women as the ultimate social prize.
The musical also delves into the inner baggage that comes with Unluckyness, the weight of external pressure applied by people who look like you but don’t know your circumstances. How do you stay true to yourself without disappointing your colleagues? And what does it mean? real Black anyway?
“For me, the lesson learned was that there was a price to pay,” Dixon said. “There is a price to pay for the choices we are forced to make in order to be happy, accepted members of society. It’s time we re-examine those costs. Is this the construction by which we can really rise, grow and evolve as a human population? “
“Black No More” starts off amicably, with a bunch of black and white dancers gliding across the stage in unison, around the barber’s chair used for the skin-changing experiment. skin. Trotter stepped out, who played Junius Crookman, the doctor performing the procedure. He paints Harlem as a place of deception, where dreams don’t always come true. “You will find everything… both high and low,” he says in his opening monologue. “This is a place where every black kid must try grow up.”
The music of “Black No More” is largely relevant to this era, transitioning smoothly from swing jazz to big band to soul. Some verses have lilt rapping to them – Trotter is the lead vocalist for Roots, after all – but his post here explores a range of musical textures, reminiscent of old Harlem while conveying the whole thing. spectrum of music. After Max goes white, the music becomes softer and more refined, sounding almost like bluegrass or folk in a way. Near the end of the show, two white women sang like an R&B piece, a genre commonly associated with Black women. “Black No More” is filled with this type of cross-pollination.
“I have always been very interested in allowing the universe to write songs, allowing the material to evolve on its own,” says Trotter. “These songs represent different elements of Black music. What we came up with was something that felt like an education in the development of Black music, which, at its core, would be the development of American music. “
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/26/theater/black-no-more-trotter-ridley-new-group.html In ‘Black No More,’ The Evolution of Black Music and a Man’s Soul