"In the spring of 1917, during World War I, over 150 black soldiers stationed at Camp Logan in Houston, Texas, marched from the military camp to the center of the city in protests of racial discrimination."
But, it is so much more than an event.
In the theatrical production written by Celeste Bedford
Walker and directed by Teddy Harrell, Jr., Camp
Logan is the true face of a fascist and demeaning society in the 1900s.
Camp Logan tells the story of five black soldiers eagerly awaiting their chance to fight overseas. The play follows the men while they face conflicts involving man vs. man, man vs. himself and man vs. society.
As the play develops, we meet the five soldiers, hearing
anecdote after anecdote about their earlier years of duty.
From their tour flings to their hopes of being treated
equally, they force us to empathize through laughter and tears.
Camp Logan features a minimal yet authentic set.
As soon as the lights dim and the whimsical tones of music play, the audience is transported 84 years into the past.
The play starts off like any other World War I story would -- soldiers marching to the commands of their superiors, a White and a Black man.
As the play
progresses the audience starts to learn the nuances of each character and the
shades to their personalities.
Hardin, 19-year-old rookie - played by Barry K. Gibbs -
has such an aliveness and bravery that, even knowing the outcome of the events,
you still would want to root for him.
This young actor delivers a great performance and is in no way outshone by his veteran cast mates.
Moses, played by Marcel Black, is more than a soldier.
Black gives such depth to his character that we are
able to see the vulnerability of the man in one scene and the anger of the
soldier in the next. His range as an actor shines through as he bullies the rookie
then is discriminated against while trying to serve his country as a soldier.
Like in any other play, circumstances start to change
and so do the characters.
The novelty of being one of the few Black soldiers in
this southern town quickly fades as they start to encounter angry white
townspeople who are less than happy to have them there. They are shoved and
pushed to their limits, until they have had enough.
Refusing to be left behind, the soldiers prepare to fight whomever they have to in order to receive the liberty that they deserve and believe belongs to them.
The strong bond they develop make the 24th
infantry anything but ordinary. Ultimately, they become a family full of
courage and willingness to sacrifice their lives for what they believed in.
Logan also features astonishing performances by René Granado, André L. Gainey, Finley Polynice, Kristoff Skalet and Anthony Roberts.
With its talented and dedicated cast, Camp Logan is destined for greatness. Camp Logan will leave you with that
sense of hope and empowerment that no movie will.
Camp Logan is a story of true brotherhood and rare grit.
Camp Logan is currently a production with the African American Performing Arts Community Theatre from April 7 - 16. Tickets range from $10 to $25.