In celebration of Black History Month, 4 $ale!, written by Leeway Transformation Award Winner, Desi P. Shelton, was chosen as a piece to provide healing and understanding! Angel, one of the main characters in the play uses her body for collateral. She uses her womb to acquire the latest fashion, expenses for trips, and bill money. We're sure our oppressors want us to believe that these behaviors are innate. They aren't innate, in fact they are taught and learned behaviors. During the period of slavery, the "Jezebel" stereotype was birthed in order to rationalize sexual misconduct between slave owners and their slaves. The Jezebel woman was depicted as tempting, manipulative, and alluring. She had this insane appetite for sex but allegedly didn't like sex with black men. American society purposely categorized black women as hyper sexual and innately promiscuous as an attempt to dehumanize us and to rationalize their inhumane treatment towards us, all the while masking their infatuation for the black woman. The two characters in the play represent the psychological and emotional affects of the stigmas that were created by design during slavery. Angel, doesn't realize the trickle down affects of slavery. She doesn't realize that she is repeating a pattern. Whether we know it or not, in some way, she is a reflection of us all!
Desi P. Shelton