… desegregating Birmingham …

The Good Negro is a fictionalized dramatization of a key moment in the civil rights struggle — Martin Luther King’s campaign to desegregate downtown Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.

This play has a very strong aspect, impressive and exciting.  It focuses on the leaders of the Southern Christian Leadership Council struggling to keep their eye on the great ideal of freedom in the face of human failings — rivalries, sexual indiscretions, antagonisms, fear, betrayal — that could have derailed the campaign for a desegregated downtown Birmingham.  How rare for suspense to be not just about who’s going to get killed or who’s going to be found out, although those threats are imminent, but can this group of dedicated freedom fighters overcome human weakness in service of a high ideal?  I can’t think of another play or narrative that has that theme — if you can, please let me know!

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