These are dark days in our United States. The constant barrage of violence in the 24-hour-news-cycle only serves to compound our trauma and grief. For Black America it can be hard to go on with this feeling that we are under attack. It is imperative that we take time for self care, for loving one-another, and for staying far, far away from the comments section. (Nothing good can come of reading the comments section). Because theatre is a salve to my soul, I’m sharing some of my favorite numbers from black musicals, that remind me of how much joy, creativity, and love we have brought to this world.
1.”Ease On Down The Road” from The Wiz. So much black joy.
2.The title number from Dreamgirls, both from the movie and Original Broadway Cast.
Bonus: The entire original production!
3. Shuffle Along Or: The Making Of Musical Sensation Of 1921 And All That Followed at the 70th Annual Tony Awards. Please note that Audra McDonald, six-time Tony Award-winning queen of Broadway, is doing those kicks pregnant.
4. “Circle Of Life” from The Lion King On Broadway. I’ve always considered The Lion King to be a black movie because of the Swahili and the savannah and whatnot lol. You know black people be claiming stuff if it speaks to our spirit.
5. Motown The Musical at the Tony Awards. This was the musical we took my family to during my college graduation celebration.They all loved seeing these gorgeous black people on stage performing some of their favorite songs. It was my Nana’s first and only trip to New York City. She passed just weeks after, and we are forever grateful she was able to achieve a lifelong dream.
6. Another gem from Queen Audra, performing “Summertime” from Porgy and Bess. The PIPES on this woman, lordt. Do yourself a favor and listen to everything she’s done.
7. “I’m Here” from The Color Purple, performed by current Celie and angel on earth Cynthia Erivo. This entire show is basically like the best church service you’ve ever been to.
Love (so much love!) and theatre (so much theatre!),