Blacks in the Arts
November 1, 2013
Hurt Village is a play that takes place in the projects in Memphis, Tennessee. The play starts off with one of the main characters, a 13-year old by the name of Cookie rapping in the dark. The raps are filled with frustrations that Cookie experiences while growing up in Hurt Village. As the play transitions into different scenes, Cookie, her family, and other Hurt Village residents sing nursery rhymes and rhymes to show their deprivation. These songs are a big part of the understanding of the play. Hurt Village did a phenomenal job in presenting the struggles of the black community in the projects everywhere, not just Hurt Village. The struggles that the families face in Hurt Village face are a reality for many black families in the projects. Drugs, poverty, and crime seem to be the typical stereotype amongst African-Americans as a whole. In the case of the people living in Hurt Village, this statement is true, but the story is based on Cookie’s family trying to make a way out.
A struggling black mother and grandmother, who they refer to as, “Big Mama,” throughout the play tries to make a better life for her granddaughter (Cookie), Cookie’s mother (Crank), and her grandson (Buggy), who is also Cookie’s father. Big Mama makes her living by cleaning hospital and consistently working overtime. After becoming mentally ill after the war, Buggy returns home, and it seems like he comes home just in time to help his grandmother in her time of need. Big Mama’s goal is to move her family out of Hurt Village into a better neighborhood, where Cookie can meet her full potential academically. It is heartbreaking to see Big Mama get on her knees and beg to a social worker to be put on Section 8, so that she and her family can move out of Hurt Village. Her opportunity is taken away from her…...