Blood At The Root – Monologue (Justin)

A monologue from the play by Dominique Morisseau

Some white kids have pulled a racist prank at Justin’s high school, and the black kids have staged a demonstration protesting it.

Here, Justin explains why he won’t take sides.

Justin (late teens, African-American)

Things at Cedar High can be real divided. Lots of lines get drawn and everybody wanna know what side you standin’ on.

Now me? I get by like I always done. Be studious. Be focused. Be attentive. That’s never done me much for popularity.

Doesn’t give me the most friends. Keeps me… well… I don’t like Toria callin’ it invisible. I mean what does she… who does she… she doesn’t know me. 

Nobody knows me. That’s the point. But at this stage in the game, I’m not askin’ for that anymore. Sure, it might’ve bothered me when I was a kid.

What kid likes to be the outcast? Sure, it might’ve made me sad or like some story from a after school special.

But that’s not the case anymore. Folks like me … there’s no space where we really fit, y’know? No side we really make sense on. 

I’ve always just existed in the cracks. So when they come askin’ me where I stand, what do I say? Whose side am I supposed to take?

Black kids protestin’. White kids prankin’. What side am I supposed to be on when don’t none of them ever …

when ain’t none of ‘em really … when I just seem to belong to myself. And that’s it. That’s the side I’m on. 

But here at Cedar High, everybody want you on a side. Wanna know where your loyalties lie. And what I got to say about it?

Who’s been loyal to me? Find me one person that can answer that question, and I’ll tell you what side I’m  on. 

Til’ then, it’s all about bein’ objective. That’s the only way I know to survive. In the cracks.