Virtual Theater: NOT A GENUINE BLACK MAN (The Marsh)

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by Tony Frankel on May 24, 2021

in Theater-San Francisco / Bay Area,Virtual

I’ve known about Brian Copland’s work for years, but didn’t get a chance to see the Bay Area performer until the virtual presentation of his solo show The Jewelry Box, easily one of the most effective one-man shows I have ever seen. (See my review here.) On June 19 (Juneteenth) The Marsh will offer a one-night-only performance of Not a Genuine Black Man, the longest running solo show in San Francisco theater history, to its digital platform, MarshStream. If anything like The Jewelry Box, expect it to be funny, honest, and harrowing. The actor, playwright, and talk show host recounts the struggles he faced growing up in what was declared one of the most racist suburbs in America.

In 1972 The National Committee Against Discrimination in Housing called San Leandro a “racist bastion of white supremacy,” becoming the subject of features on CBS News and Newsweek, among other national outlets. As the US Commission on Civil Rights conducted hearings, Copeland’s family moved to town – where they faced astonishing and humiliating harassment and isolation.

“In the current political climate, empathy seems to be a lost commodity. By showing people the world through the eyes of a bullied and lonely little African-American boy, I hope they will develop compassion for the demonized ‘other,’” says Copeland.

Not a Genuine Black Man
MarshStream:
7:30pm (PDT), Saturday, June 19, 2021
VOD available thru June 20, 2021
for tickets ($15-$100), visit The Marsh

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