“Radical Son” The Play
March 18, 2017

Why a play about John Laurens?

It was the final days of four years of research on my first feature length film, “All For Liberty,” about a lost hero of the War for American Independence in South Carolina – John Laurens.

Suddenly, my life took a new course.

Late one night in my reading, I came across a haunting passage in one of my many history books about a young man from Charleston who suffered a horribly tragic death in the last days of the American Revolution – a young man who had been fighting to end slavery while fighting the war.

He was killed leading his men into what he thought was an ambush against a British raising party attacking farmers in the Combaheee area of the Lowcountry. But the British had been informed and had slipped down river in the night and were waiting for him when he and his men arrived at dawn.

John’s name kept creeping into my thoughts and I became deeply thirsty to find out more about this young man. I discovered that in the midst of being wounded in four battles and fighting a duel for the honor of his Commander in Chief, George Washington, John was fighting on many fronts to end slavery before the end of the American War for Independence.

He felt since the British had brought slavery to our shores when they planted colonies in North America, we needed to throw out the horrors of it along with their tyranny.

John told his father, “We have sunk the Africans and their descendants below the Standard of Humanity and almost render’d them incapable of that Blessing which equal Heaven bestow’d upon us all….we Americans…cannot contend with good Grace, for Liberty, until we shall have enfranchised our Slaves…” He also added, “…where Liberty is, there is my Country.”

To be continued…