Written and directed by David Woods
Four Black students are given a detention at Central High School, a fictional school in Halifax. Mrs. James, the supervising teacher assigns the students the task of reading the first 50 pages of a collection of ‘Black books’ she selected from the library and giving a report on these pages. During her absence from the detention room, the students discuss their lives, the racism they experience in the school from students and teachers, and their often conflicting views of life. As the detention unfolds, they also begin to discuss their selected books and relate the subjects they read to their own lives. The reading and discussion of the books leads them to discover new insights on their experiences at the school and in their personal lives. The students include a mixed-race, recent immigrant from South Africa, a Black student of Caribbean background, Black student from Preston- an older local Black community, and a Black student who identifies as white.
The play was commissioned by the Black Educators’ Association for their annual provincial Parent Teachers Conference. It was also featured in a Voices provincial tour 1994-95.