Slavery is a tough role, hard sell at Colonial Williamsburg - The Washington Post: Before Erica Hubbard could portray an enslaved housekeeper, which she’ll do this weekend at Colonial Williamsburg, she first had to learn some things about life in revolutionary times — including how slaves interacted with their masters circa 1776.
These lessons are so painful that some African American actors simply can’t bear to learn them. Even as Colonial Williamsburg and other historic sites have tried to do justice to the story of slavery and attract more minority visitors, they’ve sometimes had difficulty convincing black actors to take jobs interpreting enslaved figures.
It was easy to see why as Hubbard was being schooled on slavery in 18th century Virginia one recent Sunday by two men from Colonial Williamsburg’s theatrical division.
On a soundstage in suburban Atlanta, not far from where Hubbard films the Black Entertainment Television rom-com “Let’s Stay Together,” the 34-year-old actress listened intently as the men discussed the master-servant dynamic.
“When he comes in, she just bends at the knees,” Bill Weldon said.