‘The House That Will Not Stand’: Film In Development On Free Black Women Who Became Millionaires, Fought Racial Oppression In 1800s
This story originally appeared on Shadow and Act, a property of Blavity Inc.
Playwright Marcus Gardley’s award-winning historical play The House That Will Not Stand is on its way to becoming a film.
MWM Studios is the company behind the adaptation of the play to film, according to Deadline, and Gardley, who has also written for shows like Showtime’s hit The Chi, will write the script. The plot is something that hasn’t been explored a lot in Hollywood — free Black women living in 1800s New Orleans.
As the article states, The House That Will Not Stand, a historical dramedy, is vaguely inspired by The House of Bernarda Alba by Carcia Lorca and is set in Faubourg Treme in 1813. The main characters are free Black Creole women who fought against racism and became millionaires through plaçage, or the practice of common-law marriages between white men and Black women, biracial women of color, or Native American women). The play, which premiered at the New York Theatre Workshop this year, was directed by Liliana Blain-Cruz and starred Joniece Abbott-Pratt, Juliana Canfield, Harriet D. Foy, Lynda Gravátt, Nedra McClyde, Marie Thomas and Michelle Wilson.
People have been clamoring for a different type of story about Blackness in America, something made even more apparent with the amount of backlash Green Book has gotten from viewers, critics and from the family of Mahershala Ali’s character, Dr. Don Shirley. A lot of films have been about Blackness from a white perspective, and while The House That Will Not Stand is far from the movie theater right now, the plot alone promises something fresher and more interesting than the usual depth films about race often go to–the 1960s and 1970s, two decades of racial turmoil that are the freshest in the mainstream memory.