George Randolph is a good man
I know him, and I believe he is. Big heart, big brain, big dreams. Human.
Here’s his full essay in Medium. Worth a read, and worth a follow.
During our Western Canadian Tour, the company found themselves in small town Alberta. Quaint, serene, ‘friendly.’ Upon being apprised of our arrival, the sheriff paid a visit to our director to inform us that we were, in no uncertain terms, on KKK territory. To ensure our safety, it was suggested that I, being the only Black dancer, not perform that night
My presence imposed such a threat that the director and I agreed I should, indeed, sit this performance out. Faced with a daunting task, the director had to swiftly change the choreography by turning my duets to solos, all of which we managed to complete 3 hours before curtain.
The company collectively pulled together to make it happen; they put on a show in my sudden absence, and provided me with care and support in light of this horrible situation. While they danced, I stared at the inside of a guarded hotel room, ‘othered’ by an audience who couldn’t watch a Black dancer.
Since that day, in that room, staring at those four walls, I have witnessed countless experiences that parallel my own. The ripple effect caused by the murder of George Floyd reveals that anti-Black racism, police violence, and systemic oppression are still pervasive.