(Angelina Weld Grimke)


Rachel was first produced in 1916 by the NAACP at the Myrtill Miner Normal School in Washington DC.

Mrs. Loving -- mother

Rachel Loving -- her daughter

Tom Loving -- her son

John Strong -- Tom's friend

Jimmy -- the neighbor's small boy

Mrs. Lane -- a black woman

Ethel -- her daughter

Edith, Louise, Nancy, Mary, Martha, Jenny -- children

The scene is a room scrupulously neat and clean and plainly furnished. The walls are painted green, the woodwork, white.

Three acts

In the play, Rachel, who loves children more than herself, eventually refuses to marry and have any when she realizes the fate of black children in America. This section is taken from a conversation between Rachel and her mother in the beginning of Act I, after Rachel has just met the new neighbor boy, Jimmy.

RACHEL: Well, Ma dear, I'm your pet poodle, and my hat is over my ear, and I'm late, for the loveliest reason.

MRS. LOVING: Don't be silly, Rachel.

RACHEL: That may sound silly, but it isn't. And please don't "Rachel" me so much. It was honestly one whole hour ago when I opened the front door downstairs. I know it was, becasue I heard the postman telling some one it was four o'clock. Well, I climbed the first flight, and was just starting up the second, when a little shrill voice said, "Lo!" I raised my eyes, and there, half-way up the stairs, sitting in the middle of a step, was just the dearest, cuting, darlingest little brown baby boy you ever saw. "Lo! yourself," I said. "What are you doing, and who are you anyway?" "I'm Jimmy; and I'm widing to New York on the choo-choo tars." As he looked entirely too young to be going such a distance by himself, I asked him if I might go too. For a minute or too he considered the question and me very seriously, and then he said, "Es," and made room for me on the step beside him. We've been everywhere: New York, Chicago, Boston, London, Paris and Oshkosh. I wish you could have heard him say that last place. I suggested going there just to hear him. Mow, Ma dear, is it any wonder I am late? See all the places we have been in just one "teeny weeny" hour? We would have been traveling yet, but his horrid, little mother came out and called him in. They're in the flat below, the new people. But before he went, Ma dear, he said the "cunningest" thing. He said, "Will you turn out an' p'ay wif me aden in two minutes?" I nearly hugged him to death, and it's a wonder my hat is on my head at all. Hats are such unimportant nuisances anyway!"

in Black Theater USA. James V. Hatch and Ted Shine (Eds.). New York: Free Press, 1974.

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