There are some performances that audience members leave wondering why they spent their time watching it, and then there are other ones that can resonate with an audience member for years to come. Lynette Linton’s “Assata Taught Me” succeeds in the latter by bringing a small collection of people from all walks of life together for an intimate look into the black struggle that pervades Western history, as well as contemporary times.
The play follows real-life Black Panther Assata Shakur (Adjoa Andoh), who fled to Cuba as a fugitive after being convicted of murder and imprisoned in the 1970s. While in hiding, she strikes up an unlikely friendship with a local Cuban young man, Fanuco (Kenneth Omole) who is hoping to live in the United States so that he can pursue the American Dream and help support his family. As the play progresses, we see their relationship develop, and see how Shakur begins to view Fanuco, who becomes her student both academically and in life, as a son and “brother”, who is in desperate need of emotional guidance.