Black educators’ harrowing tales of Reconstruction come to life in ‘The Uninvited’

Published

I’m looking for a house
In the world
Where the white shadows
Will not fall.
There is no such house,
Dark brothers,
No such house
At all.

“House In the World,” by Langston Hughes

In the historic houses of New Orleans, art coaxes suppressed histories from white shadows. Theatre artists from Goat in the Road Productions are committed to conjuring the realities and dangers of Black life during Reconstruction into the light. Through an immersive theatrical experience set in December 1874 in an historic home-based museum, time bends like the wending curves of the Mississippi River itself, circling back to ask Louisiana how history’s lies are working to undo its future.

Amidst the floral patterned china teacups and finely wrought allegorical statuary of the historic Gallier House museum on Royal Street, the team behind The Uninvited set out to chew up the dominant narrative of the Reconstruction Era that newly emancipated Black folks couldn’t handle the power they were given.

“We wanted to bust that myth wide open and we felt it was important to put the onus back where it belongs,” explained Kiyoko McRae, one of the production’s co-directors and co-lead writers. “Reconstruction was such a radical period of history—80 years prior to the Civil Rights Era there were integrated schools in New Orleans mandated by the state.”

Read the article at Scalawag Magazine