Every day during the month of June, we will be spotlighting our 2020 Logo30. This powerful series profiles ordinary and extraordinary people who show pride in unique and provocative ways. Visit the Logo30 homepage to view current and past honorees.
By Terron Moore
It is not exaggerating to say that Jeremy O. Harris’ Slave Play changed my life. It is simply fact.
There’s a climax in which a Black gay man towers over his white-passing partner to proclaim his worth, in all its glory and strife. “I am the prize,” he declares with every blazing bead of sweat: The moment is guttural, it is furious, and it is transformative.
Harris, a Black gay man himself, is the playwright of this revolutionary examination of what it means to be Black in a world where even those closest to you refuse to acknowledge your Blackness, your humanity. It is a startling statement of visibility that emboldens anyone lucky enough to witness it.
This is particularly true for those marginalized queer men of color who have always been judged by their proximity to whiteness. Slave Play sits within those two plot points—the exhalation of the white body and the realities of our modern and generational Blackness—clawing and twisting the void between to reach the unspoken truths within. It’s a reminder that our Black trauma is real, and deep, and the only way to begin to heal is to finally speak its name. We are better people for the honesty of Harris’ art, and his bravery in showcasing our struggle and triumph cements his status as a trailblazing force.
Get to know our other 2020 Logo30 honorees in the video below.