NYPD Using Play About Anne Frank and Emmett Till to Teach Cops Racial Sensitivity

News   NYPD Using Play About Anne Frank and Emmett Till to Teach Cops Racial Sensitivity
 
The New York Police Department has turned to the stage to help coach future cops on racial sensitivity, according to The New York Post.

Police Commissioner William J.Bratton has directed some 1,100 recruits at the city's Police Academy to watch a specially-arranged Oct. 22 production of Anne and Emmett, a one-act play by Janet Langhart Cohen, as "part of a push by the department to prepare future police officers to overcome community mistrust and their own bias."

Anne and Emmett is presented as "an imaginary conversation between Anne Frank and Emmett Till, both victims of racial intolerance and hatred. Frank is the 13-year-old Jewish girl whose diary provided a gripping perspective of the [1940s] Holocaust [in Nazi Germany]. Till is the 14-year old African-American boy whose brutal [1955] murder in Mississippi sparked the American Civil Rights Movement. The one-act play opens with the two teenagers meeting in Memory, a place that isolates them from the cruelty they experienced during their lifetime. The beyond-the-grave encounter draws the startling similarities between the two youths’ harrowing experiences and the atrocities against their respective races."

Bratton gave the Post a statement calling the play “a poignant and thoughtful production that explores the respective histories and common experiences of two people cruelly victimized by racial and religious prejudice.”

The play was previously presented for only a single 2013 performance at the Harvard Club in New York, but has been seen in venues as diverse as Emerson College, Martha's Vineyard, the National Press Club in Washington DC, the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in DC, Crossroads Theater in New Jersey, and the public schools of Lincoln, NB.

Read the complete Post story here.

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