linguistic reclamation en Strange Fruit: Top Dog/Underdog Explores Black Masculinity; Who Can Use Gay Slurs? <p></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src=";color=5f00ff&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe><span style="line-height: 1.5;">This week the Strange Fruit team got to sit in on a dress rehearsal of a local production of <a href="">Suzan Lori-Parks</a>' play, <a href=";fref=ts">Top Dog/Underdog</a>. The play looks at a pair of brothers whose dysfunctional relationship provides a framework for questions about family dynamics and what defines black masculinity.</span></p><p>We spoke with the play's cast, <a href="">Brian Lee West</a> and <a href="">Keith McGill</a>, about working on the piece, and how their own lived experiences informed the choices they made on stage.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">McGill portrays&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Lincoln</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, the play's older brother. </span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">"When [director] </span>Kathi<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Ellis first approached me with this play," he explains, "I read it, and I went, 'Oh my god, that's my brother and me.'"&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">He says the play mirrors the real relationships between brothers. "Once you're the younger brother you're always the younger brother. Once you're the older brother you're always the older brother, whatever happens. And in certain situations, you go right back to those roles."</span></p><p>West says the play forces you to think about what shapes our self-identities. "How do you define yourself as a black man? Is it how many women you have, is it holding a steady job, is it being able to get it over on The Man and prevailing?"</p><p> Sat, 12 Jan 2013 15:00:00 +0000 Laura Ellis 3389 at Strange Fruit: Top Dog/Underdog Explores Black Masculinity; Who Can Use Gay Slurs?