A family struggles to hold onto the knowledge of who they are as a people and as individuals while living under the ugliness of slavery. At the center of the life of this family is a mystical tree that holds the spirits of the ancestors, and there is Auntie Mama the matron of the family who insists on passing along the understanding of ancient African spiritual wisdom. Then there is Mattie, the young mulatto woman who bears both the emotional and physical scars from having been born in two worlds (the ‘tragic mulatto figure’ often presented in early black African American literature). There is James, the idealistic and hopeful one, a naive young man (who is so naive that he is unfamiliar with his own sexuality) who relishes in learning to read through the teachings of Isabel his slave master’s lonely wife who seeks to further own James by using biblical scripture as a learning tool. However, James yearns to use his ability to read to free his family once the Union defeats the Confederacy (note: there were many slaves who were literate when they came over, but they read in other languages- - especially Arabic- - hence the great ancient library of Timbuktu in West Africa). This family’s life is opened to a wider understanding of who they are both as a people as well as individuals when Henry, a stranger who is a runaway slave shows up at their slave quarters.
Playwright, Donja R. Love's ‘Sugar in Our Wounds’ is an extraordinary story with great dialogue and great performances by actors who you can tell truly ‘believe’ in the message this wonderful play has to offer. Oh, and let’s not forget that tree. That tree… Go see this play. 'Sugar In Our Wounds’ is a must.
(Sugar in Our Wounds has been extended through July 15):