Black Twitter has strong reactions to the new opera about Emmett Till that's set to debut later this month in NYC. Emmett Till, A New American Opera, was written by a white woman who centers the story of his life and brutal murder around a fictional white woman who, while she opposes Jim Crow and racism, does nothing about it.
According to Playbill, Clare Coss' work will premiere on March 23 at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College. A description of the piece says, "the story is approached through the lens of Roanne Taylor, a young white woman who teaches high school science in Drew, Mississippi. Roanne is against Jim Crow laws, segregation and the racial inequality that she sees around her but remains silent. She is the opera's only fictional character and represents what Martin Luther King Jr. called the ultimate tragedy, 'the silence of the good people.'"
Black Twitter called out the concept, blasting the work for centering a fictional white woman's experience when it was a real-life white woman's accusations that got the real-life 14-year-old tortured and killed.
Some called out The Harlem Chambers Players and Opera Noire International who are involved with producing the piece.
Still others offered the idea that an opera about Till's life and murder may have been art they'd be willing to see if the story wasn't centered around "a fictional white woman struggling with white guilt."
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