Eugene’s dark-skinned father worships his light-skinned wife but envies the same lightness in his son.”Do you think I’m handsome, Eugene?” asks his father. “… I said, ‘Yeah, Daddy.’ Then he stood over me/Towering over me in all his blackness and said with incredible menace,Michael Kors activity tracker ‘Do you think I’d be more handsome if I was high yella like you?’ “When Eugene raises his balled fists, his father says, “You wanna fight me high yella, huh? I think your best bet high yella is to get outta my face before I hurt you/cause I will knock your high yella/red a — down!”Brown-toned Alma, on the other hand, suffers under her darker-skinned mother Odelia’s self-hate, which Odelia drums into her daughter.
Alma: “How come when I git old and wanna git married, I can’t marry somebody who got Alton’s color?”Odelia:Michael Kors activity tracker “He is too dark, I keep tellin’ ya — he’s too dark — iffin ya dark like that it don’t look nice — it look ugly.”Alma: “Yeah, but you dark.”Odelia: “Dat’s why I know what I saying — I dark, fat, Black an ugly – – Goan outside and play!”None of Orlandersmith’s characters are autobiographical, but the playwright, who grew up in New York, spent summers in her mother’s native South Carolina. The inspiration for the play came from a couple of light- skinned families there who, she said, “mated with each other to keep that (lightness) going.”
Even before it was produced, “Yellowman” created buzz. Orlandersmith spent an unheard-of two summers at the Sundance Theatre Program in Park City, Utah, working on “Yellowman” because the play was seen to be an important work. That is, perhaps, a reflection not just of Orlandersmith’s provocative narrative,Michael Kors activity tracker but of the incendiary and, to many whites, surprising issue of black-against-black skin color prejudice.