THE CHRONICLE

FINDING SELF

Play shows black woman's journey to acceptance

Paris Davis Dean grew up receiving heaps of 

praise for her hair when she was a child.  Maintaining

her straight hair and the 

attention she got for it

became  an obsession for her, once that followed her to Howard University and later to New York City, where she first took a shot at show business.  Dean's one woman show "Outliving the Scars on My Back" has been called every thing from "wickedly funny" to "engaging." One thing that the play can definitely be called is "autobiographical."  The play transports audiences back to Dean's childhood (she is a native of Mississippi) and how she says her perception of herself was shaped by the media and images of folks who look nothing like her.  "I was a victom of media bombardment and cultural

Paris Davis Dean 

 

stereoypes that have so influenced  my definition of beauty without question," she said.  Deans says she is not alone.  Her show which she adapted from a poem she wrote, looks at how things such as hair straightening and even skin lightening have been used by blacks since the days of slavery as a way to assimilate into the majority culture and remove themselves from their African roots.  

    In the Show, Dean mixes her experiences with sketches by slave women who give their take on beauty standards among other things.  Dean spent a lot of time researching the play.  She says the research has benefited  her.
    "I have become more comfortable in my own skin," she said, "and more responsible for obstacles (that) life brings."

    Dean's husband, Michael Dean, co-wrote the show.  
    Dean got an acting degree from Howard.  Her theatrical credites include "Concrete Playground" and "The Undertow".  A former model, she once competed in the Miss Black America Pageant. 

 

 

                         The Chronicle


 

                                     

       When:

Aug. 5, Aug. 6 at

3 p.m. and 8 p.m.


        Wheren: 
  Suites  
Pavilion

 

    How much:

Tickets are $35

Price includes both shows


 

FINDING SELF

D.A.M.P.