Vocations: Portraying 18th-Century Black Men in Colonial Williamsburg

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How do visitors react to what you do?

Some people try to understand what it was like for people like Booker, who had no standing in the world. They ask what it’s like to listen to the rhetoric of the day, before the Revolutionary War, about freedom, justice and equality when you’re on someone’s inventory.

When I say there were more free and enslaved blacks than whites in Williamsburg in the 1800s, it goes against what some people have been taught and can shake their foundation.

One man asked why I don’t talk about the good things in the past, and I told him if I don’t speak the truth, I’m not telling him history.

What’s it like to act in these roles?

I feel a great responsibility. Back then I wouldn’t have been able to speak like I do at work, or it would put people in danger.

We’ve made progress, but we haven’t yet fully achieved the idea of America.

I want to honor the people who went before us and struggled and showed us how to survive, who knew who they were and said, “I’m a human being just as you are.”

Is acting in the Broadway play “Hamilton” on your bucket list?

The touring company has my head shot and video audition.

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