Tonika Todorova is an adventure architect and a passionate lover of the shared human experience.
By Tonika Todorova
There is a good deal of learning at THE MISEDUCATION OF 55th STREET. And perhaps for those of us with less melanin, a good opportunity to listen.
The production consists of various skits quilted together to provide an overarching canopy of several experiences dealing with race. Through the disarming qualities of comedy, truths are held bare and exposed, often catching laughter stranded in the air as a witness to the pain. Five performers unveil events, adoring different characters with impressive frequency and speed as they roulette between childhood experiences, spoken word self-awareness and tongue-and-cheek song. Collectively, they manage to cover coming of age, the school system, relationships (both straight and gay), loneliness, parenting, natural women and how someone can get their wings, to name a few. But the list goes on. Because every single ordinary life thing can be significant to those whose skin color can be used against them. Maybe one of these days we can share the human experience without it being specific to the melanin in our bodies. Until then, hopefully this show, and others like it, help get some folks their wings.
In the end, if we are to rise as one human race, we must acknowledge that any difference between our phenotypes is purely caused by geographical origin and any friction caused between people has been programmed and learned and miseducated. We are all different shades of human. “In order to get beyond racism, we must first take account of race. There is no other way. And in order to treat some persons equally, we must treat them differently.” Harry A. Blackmun