Anna Deavere Smith’s “Notes from the Field,” Powerful, Sobering Experience

Anna Deavere Smith. Photo credit:  Gwen Pierce, The Chocolate Voice


By:  Richard A. Eastes

I recorded and watched about half of the HBO special, “Notes from the Field,” the one woman presentation by Anna Deavere Smith that was first shown Saturday, February 24.  Emotionally, I found I had to “take a break” before I finished watching this movie. I found it to be a powerful but, sobering experience. It is not easy to watch, but worth watching.

My takeaway continues to be that the legacy of 400 years of slavery in our Nation continues to play out in socially destructive ways and perpetuates inequality economically and educationally.

The preparation of “Notes from the Field” by Ms. Smith, in presenting the thoughts of individuals, quoted verbatim, in their own language (with some background video) is a stunning performance.

Now, the questions remain; how does our society finally break the patterns that have developed to perpetuate social and educational inequality leading to incarceration?

We have made progress, just not nearly enough.

Be sure to catch the re-air times on HBO.

Also, check out the review on ShadowAndAct.Com

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