Winner! The American Theater Coop's National Playwriting Contest in 2005
Inspired by a true story, Strom Thurmond is Not a Racist
is an absurdist look at the life of Senator Strom Thurmond. After fathering a child with his black maid as a young man, the extremely white Strom Thurmond became one of the country's greatest segregationists; all the while playing daddy to his bi-racial daughter Essie Mae Washington Williams. How could someone live such a duplicitous life? It happens.
This play contains mature language and situations.
Published with Cleansed.
"Perhaps your average night at the theater doesn't include screams of 'Nigger Monkey's' and 'Black skinned beasts!' but Thomas Bradshaw's does. The playwright-provocateur presents a wickedly shocking double bull that unapologetically flaunts racial conflict....Bradshaw doesn't deliver a normal night out, but his outrages are worth every second of discomfort." - Time Out New York
"Tom Bradshaw's most important contribution to society is snatching narrative and its elements back from the clutches of the ordinary" - Richard Maxwell, Playwright and Director
"Bradshaw has a positive genius for explosive imagery, putting biracial Lauraul in a Klan costume and penning a demonic parody of Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream" speech for Strom Thurmond....Bradshaw has a deep dramatic and linguistic intelligence." - Village Voice
"These uncomfortably intense plays focus on racism in our society, from the Dixiecrats of the south to the confused generation of today.... The intensity that Bradshaw intended came through tenfold." - New York Cool
"Thomas Bradshaw is sometimes billed as a playwright/provocateur. In actuality, he is a playwright/academic.... The provocateur comes from the fact that he is a black author who often holds a blinding spotlight on the issues of race and black identity in this country. His work is characterized by an unflinching concentration on the fundamental effects of racism on black self worth.... Strom Thurmond is Not a Racist/Cleansed is a provocative, gripping, and unsettling evening." - New York City Onstage