This House Believes the American Dream Is at the Expense of the American Negro | Congressional Church of Jefferson Park | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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This House Believes the American Dream Is at the Expense of the American Negro 

When: Mondays, Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays. Continues through Sept. 7 2014
On February 18, 1965, James Baldwin and William F. Buckley Jr. debated at Cambridge University on the question "Has the American dream been achieved at the expense of the American negro?" Footage of the entire debate is available on YouTube. So why bother watching Zachary Baker-Salmon's adaptation for Oracle Productions? Well, for one thing, although (despite his company's name) Baker-Salmon probably did not foresee what happened last month in Ferguson, Missouri, the question is as relevant as ever. It deserves our consideration, not in blurry black and white, but in real life. Johnard Washington and Jeremy Clark are mesmerizing as Baldwin and Buckley. Baldwin uses his own experiences to explain how racism hurts all Americans, not just blacks. Buckley treats the debate as an intellectual exercise to justify his own sense of superiority. Whose country do you want to live in? Part of the Chicago Fringe Festival. —Aimee Levitt

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