Jackie Taylor and The Black Ensemble Theater Release Statement Against Racism and Injustice

June 5, 2020

Jackie Taylor, the Founder, CEO, Executive Director of the Black Ensemble Theater speaks against racism, injustice, and the continual systematic murdering of Black people by a racist American system. Here is the full statement:

When I started the Black Ensemble Theater in 1976, I was told emphatically by many, many people to change the mission. They felt that a mission to eradicate racism was much too ambitious. Our mission is ambitious, and it is vital to our existence as human beings. If we allow for injustice to continue—we all suffer and will eventually wipe each other out. We are witnessing the effects of institutionalized racism all over the country and the fires, looting, anger, and self-hatred that has materialized bears witness to the fact that we must destroy institutionalized racism or it will destroy all of us.

For 44 years Black Ensemble Theater has been working diligently toward our mission to eradicate racism and its devastating effects on society. Our mission is even more vital and relevant now, than it has ever been before.

Racism is embedded in the American culture. That culture must be changed. Those of us who understand that murder is wrong, racism is wrong, and injustice is wrong must speak out. We cannot be silent. I’m not advocating looting and burning but I understand it. People are sick and tired of the American racist way and they are screaming for it to stop. I do not condone violence, but I do condone Action – do something or say something, or speak out even if it’s just to a neighbor—let’s spread the word that this murdering of Black people must be stopped—period! This modern-day lynching must come to an end.

Black Ensemble Theater will do our part. We will continue our work towards eradicating racism, and we hope that you too will do whatever you can to speak out and take action against the inequities that exist in this racist world. No one can afford to sit on the sidelines anymore. To say nothing or do nothing makes you just as guilty as those who are committing the racist crime or spewing the racist rhetoric. To be treated fairly and with dignity is the essence of our human spirit and we must protect the human spirit—without it, we will not survive.

My final thought is this—the human spirit and need for justice, fairness, and equality will never die, no matter how long you continue to keep your knee embedded in its neck. You cannot kill the human spirit. The human spirit will rebel. It will fight. It will rise up and it will, eventually, win.

Jackie Taylor
Founder, CEO, Executive Director
Black Ensemble Theater