The powerful question, “Ain’t I a Woman?” cuts through history, demanding recognition of Black women’s humanity and rights.

It first resonated in 1851, when abolitionist Sojourner Truth challenged societal norms at a Women’s Rights Convention. Over a century later, feminist scholar Bell Hooks echoed the phrase in her book, highlighting the unique way Black women experience both racism and sexism.

Fast forward to 2023. Landé Belo, artistic director at London’s Tower Theatre, launched a search for Black female playwrights to explore this theme. The response was staggering, resulting in five phenomenal short plays featured in a new production – “Ain’t I A Woman?”

These diverse, satirical pieces digs into the contemporary struggles of Black women in Britain. Settings range from a London casting room to a futuristic dystopia, encompassing a sci-fi mystery and even a TV studio.

Here’s a sneak peek at the characters:

  • Fin: Faces a critical choice – prioritise her own needs or the cause? In 2037: The Burden by Rukiat Ashawe
  • Nicki: Contemplates playing into an offensive stereotype to advance her career in ‘Nicki Takes a Breath by Sara Amanda
  • Ngozi: Wrestles with the pressure to conform to Eurocentric beauty standards in ‘Changinging Rays by Mauricia,
  • Mary: Seeks solace in online dating to combat self-doubt in ‘Mary, Queen of Thots’ by Katrina Smith-Jackson
  • Tiwa: Highlights the economic inequalities impacting her community in ‘In Conversation’ by Eileen Gbagbo

Produced and co-directed by Landé Belo, along with Sara Amanda and Beverly Andrews, “Ain’t I A Woman?” promises a thought-provoking theatrical experience.

Catch it at the Tower Theatre (16 Northwold Road, Stoke Newington, London N16 7HR) from July 10th to 20th, 2024. Suitable for ages 12 and above.