The Scottsboro Boys were arrested as freight train hoboes in Alabama in 1931 and quickly convicted by an all-white jury of raping two white women. After several retrials and appeals, the case led to two landmark Supreme Court rulings on the right to adequate counsel and prohibiting the exclusion of black people from juries.
Yet, the problems in 1931 -- wrongful conviction, juvenile sentencing, police brutality, tampering with juries and evidence, and adequate counsel -- are still a problem in 2019.
Playhouse on Park is currently staging The Scottsboro Boys, a Kander and Ebb musical satire that stages the play within the frame of minstrelsy, a potent symbol of Jim Crow injustice. Does their use of minstrelsy expose the absurdity of racism or is it simply offensive? We continue the debate.
- Davarian Baldwin - Historian, cultural critic, and Professor of American Studies at Trinity College in Hartford; he's the author of Chicago's New Negroes: Modernity, the Great Migration, and Black Urban Life
- Gail Hardy - State’s Attorney for the Judicial District of Hartford
- Sean Harris - Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director, Playhouse on Park
- Ivory McKay - Actor who plays the role of Mr. Bones in the production of The Scottsboro Boys at Playhouse on Park; he has also performed in La Cage Aux Folles, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Colin McEnroe and Chion Wolf contributed to this show.