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Alternate Realities

by Richard Stern

wonderful postRadio Golf
As much as I have loved so many of Wilson's plays, I do not accept that the life I lead is unreal, inauthentic, or broken. Our vegetable garden is authentic, and I do not water my cucumbers because I wish I was white. My life is authentic. It is authentic to me... the racial identity [Wilson] is suggesting is based on feeling ever conflicted, deeply different, with roots in a far off land in another time. That might float some people's boats, but I am more interested in feeling whole right here and now. History is important--but not so much that, as Faulkner had it, the past isn't even past. August Wilson was, no questions asked, real. I wish that in his parting message to the world, he could have allowed that I and millions of other black people leading lives like mine are real too.