Black When I Was a Boy Part II - Sage Black Productions

Reviewed By Kelly Luck

As noted in the review for Part 1, this is the second part of Cooper Bates’ story of growing up black and finding his way in the world. In this performance we find Bates, a young adult, moving to the city of Dallas to pursue an acting career. Managing to get into a prestigious acting conservatory, he is soon confronted by the stereotyped casting of black actors. He makes friends, tries his hand at romance, begins to gain traction and confidence as an actor, and eventually catches the attention of Mr. Pope, a man with an eye for up-and-coming talent.

Unfortunately, things do not go as planned. Bates encounters a series of hardships, one after another, culminating in a moment of violence and ultimate disillusionment that leaves him traumatized and questioning everything.

As in Part 1, Mr. Bates displays ample skill in portraying the various characters in his life. The story is well paced, never lagging, and his gift for vivid description keeps us in the moment from the beginning to the veryend. It should be noted that there are depictions of sexual assault and suicide, so viewers are encouraged to bear that in mind.

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