By Kenya King (Special to the Daily World)
Believing in impossible dreams and that the time is always “right now” for reaching for one’s revered “seat at the table” is what President Barack Obama did four years ago. Sylvester Stephens, best-selling author and playwright, believed in those same audacious dreams when he authored the book and stage play, “Our Time Has Come.”
“This is an important election year,” said Stephens. “Although we’re living in a post-Obama era, African Americans still need to stay engaged and active in social and political issues, and push progress forward so that all of us and can realize the dream.”
In the play, Stephens premeditated that our time would come to have a Black president of the United States by precisely 2008. His prediction couldn’t have been fathomed even by the most authentic optimist of that day.
While the play has political undertones, Stephens said the production is about more than just politics, and encompasses important messages about African-American families.
“Even though it has political and social storylines, the most important part is the family element. You have a mother who had an eighth-grade education, who raised her child all by herself and despite the era that she landed in, she was capable of raising that man, as his grandfather had prophesied. She raised that young man from being a fatherless child to being the president of the United States of America. That particular message offers hope for the same situations we face in our lives in the Black community,” said Stephens.
The play takes us to 1940 where the lead character, Attorney Solomon Chambers, represents African Americans in a case against the United States government for the violation of their constitutional rights. Solomon eventually becomes a senator and the president of the United States.
Solomon’s father, a civil rights activist, is played by former “Family Matters” television star Darius McCrary. McCrary said he was interested in participating in the play because he wanted to be involved in projects that were more enlightening and inspiring.
“These days, I guess it really doesn’t make a difference to get out and march. It doesn’t make a difference to get out and hold up picket signs because of the era that we’re in. I think people have lost a lot of that fire and a lot of that desire now. We’re in a place in time where many generations are more cerebral,” said McCrary.
McCrary, who is a father himself, said that children today have an excess of influences and instant access to many things, which makes it important to help guide them in the right direction. “I’m under the belief that if you change one’s mind, it might be the one mind that is responsible for changing the world,” he said.
Atlanta’s own singer/actress, former Miss Atlanta and “American Idol” star Tamyra Gray also has a leading role in the