by Rachel Lynett
“A family of black women mourning the death of a young black man.
It’s almost like some Greek tragedy.”
When I’m feeling particularly clever, I like to say that Good Bad People is an adaptation of a Greek tragedy. Ask me which one and I would love for that answer to be all of them. What draws me to the tragedies is probably the same thing that drove me to write this play: how can you mourn someone with dignity and simultaneously fight for justice at the same time? What does justice look like when even “grief time” slows you down? And more importantly, why do we ask those who are mourning to carry the first torch in the revolution? As empowering as it is to see, why does Lezley McSpadden[i] have to run for mayor to get justice for her son and the young men that look like him? Like Antigone carrying the body of her dead brother and demanding justice, June and Audre have to choose: fight for justice for a brother who was wrongfully killed or bury their brother in peace without the world watching. I hope one day no family has to make that choice.
[i] Lezley McSpadden is the mother of Michael Brown. Her son was wrongfully murdered by a white police officer on August 9, 2014. Four years later, almost to the day, McSpadden announced her run.