Theater: Black and Blue

Ordeals of utter agony

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere," Martin Luther King Jr. wrote in a letter from a Birmingham jail exactly two decades ago. In that same letter, he also wrote, "Unearned suffering is redemptive."

Two off-Broadway plays, Poppie Nongena, by Sandra Kotze and Elsa Joubert, and Do Lord Remember Me, by James deJongh, amplify King's insights and offer further proof that the human spirit is perdurable in resisting, actively or passively, any force that tries to crush it.

Poppie Nongena, which originally appeared as a novel by Joubert (herself...

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