These days, society is great at providing moments so depressing that all you can do is laugh. After watching a video of an actress portraying a slave and responding to actual tourist questions ... well, you might just find yourself laughing.
Azie Mira Dungey formerly worked at George Washington's Mount Vernon estate as a historical re-enactor. The actress and comedian has played the roles of different black women who lived in the Washington, D.C., area in the 18th century. In a post on her website, Dungey explains that playing a slave for a living, especially while President Barack Obama was seeking reelection, invoked a series of emotions.
"Talking to 100s of people a day about what it was like to be black in 18th Century America. And then returning to the 21st Century and reflecting on what had and had not changed," Dungey wrote of her daily routine. "So, I wanted a way to present all of the most interesting, and somewhat infuriating encounters that I had, the feelings that they brought up, and the questions that they left unanswered."
Dungey created a Web series called "Ask A Slave," in which she answers questions in character that are based on questions asked by tourists in actual interactions. As "Lizzie Mae," the New York University graduate responds to people inquiring why she hasn't fled to a school in Massachusetts yet or if she has any white friends.