‘Caroline, or Change’ star shares most shocking racist encounters in industry

Another thing, having a writer say to me, “Could I be more Black?”

And saying, “Listen. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I am Black.”

And him turning around to me and saying, “Well, you see the thing is, I know Black people.”

What someone wants from you is a caricature of what they think you should be doing when you’re trying to give them the truth. It’s been dealing with stuff like that in the early days when there was just such ignorance.

How was the creative process on the music end of things? How did you prepare specifically for this show?

All I can say is “Caroline” is a beast of a sing. My vocals are low. I often sing with men and rarely with women. I would call myself a tenor. So when I started learning the score, I was saying to [music supervisor] Nigel [Lilley], “Look. You realize I’m not a soprano, right? I don’t sing up there. I can visit up there, but it’s not somewhere I want to live.”

Why did you take this role?

“Caroline” honors all [Black] women. Whether they are American, Caribbean African, she tells their stories, they are highlighted through her being able to tell her story.

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