Routes: 1919 Race Riots
War Doesn't Always Beget Peace.
BY NDIDI JOHN
It is 1919 and World War One is over. Troops have been demobbed, with high expectations but low prospects of finding gainful employment or even housing. The third wave of the pandemic, the Spanish Flu, continues to wreak havoc, with port towns suffering heavily.
Cardiff, and most particularly, Butetown, with a high number of seafaring immigrants, is the centre of racial unrest mirroring events which are taking place across the Atlantic during the Red Summer.
Against the backdrop, violent race riots close in on Butetown, as Bethan, a white nurse, wakes to her worst nightmare. Beaten by white thugs for her relationship with Raphael, a black activist, she finds herself trapped in a house on the wrong side of the riots and in the firing line of Rose, an enraged Jamaican-born boarding mistress.
Racial tension, violence, death and rejection suffocate them, but they are forced to set aside their differences and work as a united front in the heat of the Cardiff crucible.
Routes is a compelling stage play about the struggles which cross the divides: black and white people, inter-racial relationships, immigration, age-old bigotries and newly-held ideals. It's a play of its time, but just as relevant today.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Author, Ndidi John, is a multidisciplinary artist who has enjoyed a successful career in the creative industries. Ndidi has used the strength of the sector to support underrepresented communities offering a platform for voice and an opportunity to effect change. Tiger Bay, Cardiff, is celebrated as one of the oldest multicultural communities in the UK.
As an industrial dockland and horizon for the world, it is paved with diversity. didi chose to combine her skills as a playwright and educator to lift the veil on one of the most widespread, yet somewhat hidden outbreaks of violence in British history. Her aim is to educate a new generation of audience to the struggles and blood shed for peace on home soil.
Ndidi has remained steadfast in her mission to ensure women's voices are heard and respected, for the value they have brought to our society for centuries. Hence, in an era where male sacrifice is understood and rightfully appreciated, Ndidi turns the lens to the women warriors on the home front.
Ndidi's narrative speaks to a universal audience. Her sincerity and service are crafted to dissolve segregation and promote equality.
12.9 x 19.8 cm
Published in October 2023 by Stellar Books