I met Shawn Durham more than 20 years ago when we were both volunteers for the Health Department’s Sex Education program. They convinced us to get in front of other students and teach them about things like sexually transmitted diseases and how to put a condom on a banana. It was the early 90s when AIDS was a hovering cloud and adults thought that maybe kids would listen to other kids when it came to these things.
And now, all these years later, J. Shawn Durham is still tackling the tough issues that hover like a cloud over our adulthood, but from a black man’s perspective. Now I’ll admit my copy of The Broke Brother’s Revolution is sitting on one of the stacks of books in my apartment, the bookmark a few chapters in, but the fact that he uses the book as a discourse for how black women believe black men should act, how black men react to this view, and how both look at “the game” is at times a little painful but also funny, at least for the characters. It is from this field that Shawn is mining the gold for his one man show.