Rachel Hilson is an actor and writer from Baltimore, Maryland. She is a junior at Gallatin, where she is studying race and performance. She has a passion for socially conscious theater and has a deep desire to tell colorful stories about (literally) colorful people—she wants to to be a voice for minorities. One of her plays, The Seventh Date, which tackles issues of race and micro-aggressions was produced this past fall at Gallatin. She hopes to see more produced here and elsewhere. She is thrilled to be a part of this year’s Gallatin Arts Festival with such a talented and diverse array of artists.
I’m exploring the “condition of being black” in conjunction with the “condition of being human.” By using hypochondria, something everyone has experience with, and socializing it, I want to highlight the strange disparity between blackness and humanity. This piece is inspired by my frequent, anxiety-laden bouts with hypochondria. As with all anxiety, it is hard to distinguish between what’s real and what’s an exaggeration of the mind. We are all human and subject to our bodies failing us. Bodies are mysterious and thus frightening. But we accept these bodily fears as being part of the human condition. What about the condition of being black and human? What do those fears and anxieties look like? They aren’t completely universal. The answers may not be so readily found on the Internet, but that doesn’t make them less real. I asked some black peers things they feared; their answers and stories are reflected in this piece.