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The Whipping Man

play • spoken word • Black history & experience • coming home • historical
  • Filmed Performance
  • Vimeo
  • Free

The Whipping Man examines a vital, but not often spoken of period in American history, the post-Civil War South, as former slaves and slavemasters struggled to acclimate to the new emancipated social order. The play is set in Richmond, Virginia in April of 1865. The Confederacy has just surrendered and throughout the South, slaves are being freed and soldiers are returning home. Caleb DeLeon, grievously wounded and starving, returns to his family home in Richmond to discover an empty house. Only Simon, the old family slave, remains. That same day, John, another former slave of the DeLeons’, also returns. The three must navigate their new relationships while settling with demons from the past, culminating in a Passover Seder where former master and slaves must decide where honesty and loyalty will lie.

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