Horn, E. B. (2017). “do you see me?” power and visibility in applied theatre with black male youth and the police. Youth Theatre Journal, 31(2), 79.
This article accounts the author’s experience as co-facilitator of the pilot program of “The Justice Project,” an applied theatre project in which high school students of color presented an original performance and interactive theatre workshop to police officers to explore the police-civilian dynamic. As a white middle-class female teacher working with male high school students of color, the author’s perceived hypervisibility due to her demographic positioning was shattered during the culminating event of the residency. Held at a police academy, the director of the police academy announced a gang task force officer would be scanning the high school students prior to the workshop. The police academy’s assumed position of power brought to light the hypervisibility of these students due to their gender, race, age, and class. Using Critical Race Feminism Theory, this article deconstructs the shifts in power and visibility that occurred during this conflict; the cultural complexities within these power shifts; and how championing the counternarrative served to construct a new visibility for the minority male students.
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