RELENTLESS is a historical masterpiece that will have you spellbound and wanting more!

I seldom start a review with praise, but Relentless is one of those plays that should be considered a historical masterpiece that will have you spellbound and wanting more, even after sitting for three hours. Playwright Tyla Abercrumbie blows us away with this brilliant and wonderfully written play that points out one of the main reasons Black Americans feel enslaved by hatred and racism that still plagues us today. Abercrumbie teams up with one of Chicago’s greatest directors Ron OJ Parsons as they bring this world premiere play RELENTLESS to TimeLine Theater at The Wit Theater. 

Developed through TimeLine’s Playwrights Collective and set during the Black Victorian era, RELENTLESS brings together two sisters and their late mother’s past that opens up into a complex problem of secrets from the past 100 years that still lives within our society today. 

The setting is from the Black Victorian era, where we get to peek back into 1919, where two sisters, who are well educated and affluent, come home to Philadelphia to sell their mother’s house, who has recently died. Annelle and Janet love each other dearly; however, their views about life, love, and liberty contrast. 

Annelle is a happy socialite who seeks to dazzle men with her sophistication and charm, but inside her is a frightened child who seeks the comfort of living an illusionary life to protect her from living life at all. Her sister, Janet, is a nurse who has lived as a protective older sister. Still, deep inside, she is frustrated with being seen as young, gifted, but black and determined to bring Black women into their prominence; she fights against a world that doesn’t seem to notice her it all.   

As Janet battles with the thought of selling her mother’s house, she discovers diaries written by her mother detailing a secret past that the girls never knew. Janet is Relentless in wanting to know her mother more, but Annelle doesn’t feel the need to learn anything that would damage her fragile existence. During this explosive and chilling play, the audience learns about the hidden and seldom discussed racism from the eyes of one woman by the name of Zhuukee.  

RELENTLESS is that once-in-a-lifetime play that anyone should see. This play centers the audience on the hatred and racism blacks experienced over 100 years ago, which correlates to the hate and racism we still experience today. It sent a more profound message as to why that hateful and racist past destroyed the rich culture of Black Americans. How it tarnished the beauty, grace, and honor we once enjoyed in the Black Victorian era, where we owned businesses, land, and property; when the dollar would circulate within communities like the Greenwood District at least 36 times before it left the neighborhood.  

Abercrumbie masterfully forces Americans to see the damage caused by letting hatred rule over love for all humanity and the lingering consequences this melting pot philosophy has contributed to the division we currently exhibit. 

The cast of RELENTLESS was phenomenal. Ayanna Bria Bakari, Jaye Ladymore, Xavier Edward King, Travis Delgado, Demetra Dee, and Rebecca Hurd provided a stellar performance. Performances so engaging, you will be enthralled as they colorfully converse about their struggles, fears, and relentless determination to overcome the hatred they endure while under covering the secret life of Annabelle Lee and revealing some secrets of their own. 

RELENTLESS is well written, well-directed, and well played!

Let’s Play HIGHLY RECOMMENDS RELENTLESS at Timeline Theatre Company at the Wit Theater. 

Lastly, violence against the black race in America goes back to slavery, but few know or even discuss the past racial violence. People who caused this violence like to focus on what Black Americans are doing against each other. However, the past scars listed below are like a birth defect that can never be removed. 


Timeline Theatre Company at The WIT Theater

Written by Tyla Abercrumbie

Directed by Ron OJ. Parson

January 27 – February 26, 2022

San Miguel de Gualdape Slave Rebellion, 1526

Gloucester County Conspiracy, 1663

Bacon’s Rebellion, 1676

New York City Slave Uprising, 1712

The Stono Rebellion, 1739

New York City Slave Conspiracy, 1741

Gabriel Prosser Revolt, 1800

Igbo Landing Mass Suicide, 1803

Andry’s Rebellion, 1811

Denmark Vesey Conspiracy, 1822

Nat Turner Revolt, 1831

Amistad Mutiny, 1839

Creole Case, 1841

Slave Revolt in the Cherokee Nation, 1842       

Antebellum Urban Violence

Cincinnati Riots, 1829

Anti-Abolition Riots, 1834

Cincinnati Race Riots, 1836

The Pennsylvania Hall Fire, 1838

Christina (Pennsylvania) Riot, 1851

Civil War, Reconstruction, and Post-Reconstruction Era Violence

Detroit Race Riot, 1863

New York City Draft Riots, 1863

Memphis Riot, 1866

New Orleans Massacre, 1866

Pulaski Race Riot, 1868

Camilla Massacre, 1868

Opelousas Massacre, 1868

The Meridian Race Riot, 1871

Chicot County Race War, 1871

The Colfax Massacre, 1873

Clinton (Mississippi) Riot, 1875

Hamburg Massacre, 1876

Carroll County Courthouse Massacre, 1886

Thibodaux Massacre, 1887

New Orleans Dockworkers’ Riot, 1894-1895

Virden, Illinois Race Riot, 1898

Wilmington Race Riot, 1898

Newburg, New York Race Riot, 1899

Race Riots, 1900-1960

Robert Charles Riot (New Orleans), 1900

New York City Race Riot, 1900

Atlanta Race Riot, 1906

Springfield, Illinois Race Riot, 1908

The Slocum Massacre, 1910

East St. Louis Race Riot, 1917

Chester, Pennsylvania Race Riot, 1917

Houston Mutiny and Race Riot, 1917

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Race Riot, 1918

Charleston (South Carolina) Riot, 1919

Longview Race Riot, 1919

Washington, D.C. Riot, 1919

Chicago Race Riot, 1919

Knoxville Race Riot, 1919

Elaine, Arkansas Riot, 1919

Tulsa Race Massacre, 1921

Rosewood Massacre, 1923

Harlem Race Riot, 1935

Beaumont Race Riot, 1943

Detroit Race Riot, 1943

Columbia Race Riot, 1946

Peekskill Riot, 1949

The Cicero Riot of 1951

Urban Uprisings, 1960-2000

Cambridge, Maryland Riot, 1963

The Harlem Race Riot, 1964

Rochester Rebellion, 1964

Jersey City Uprising, 1964

Paterson, New Jersey Uprising, 1964

Elizabeth, New Jersey Uprising, 1964

Chicago (Dixmoor) Riots, 1964

Philadelphia Race Riot, 1964

Watts Rebellion (Los Angeles), 1965

Cleveland’s Hough Riots, 1966

Chicago, Illinois Uprising, 1966

The Dayton, Ohio Uprising, 1966

Hunter’s Point, San Francisco Uprising, 1966

The Nashville Race Riot, 1967

Tampa Bay Race Riot, 1967

Newark Race Riot, 1967

Plainfield, New Jersey Riot, 1967

Detroit Race Riot, 1967

Flint, Michigan Riot, 1967

Tucson Race Riot, 1967

Grand Rapids, Michigan Uprising, 1967

The King Assassination Riots, 1968

Hartford, Connecticut Riot, 1969

Asbury Park Race Riot, 1970

Camden, New Jersey Riots, 1969 and 1971

Miami (Liberty City) Riot, 1980

Crown Heights (Brooklyn) New York Riot, 1991

Rodney King Riot, 1992

West Las Vegas Riot, 1992

St. Petersburg, Florida Riot, 1996

College Campus Violence

University of Georgia Desegregation Riot, 1961

Ole Miss Riot, 1962

Houston (Texas Southern University) Riot, 1967

Orangeburg Massacre, 1968

Jackson State Killings, 1970

The Southern University Shooting, 1972

21st Century Racial Violence

Cincinnati Riot, 2001

Oscar Grant Oakland Protests, 2009-2011

Ferguson Riot and Ferguson Unrest, 2014-2015

Baltimore Protests and Riots, 2015

Charleston Church Massacre, 2015

Milwaukee Riot, 2016

Charlotte Riot, 2016

Related Pages

Black Lives Matter

Lynchings in the United States Since 1865

Race, Crime, and Incarceration in the United States

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