A Good Place To Raise A Boy

At the beginning of August 1955, Emmett Till hopped on a train headed to Money Mississippi to visit his family. Three weeks later he was dead, a victim to white violence. A Good Place To Raise To Raise A Boy follows a young Black boy, his family and the All-American country town that murdered him.

  • Wes Goodrich
    Goodnight, Fred, The Reacharound, Gap Year (Upcoming)
  • Project Type:
    Stage Play
  • Genres:
    Drama, History, Coming-Of-Age, Crime
  • Number of Pages:
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Language:
  • First-time Screenwriter:
  • Student Project:
  • Access Theater Artistic Developmental Residency
    New York City, New York
    September 1, 2017
Writer Biography - Wes Goodrich

Wesley Goodrich is a Brooklyn based writer and director who creates work that illuminates the pain and pleasure of the Black American Experience. Through a contemporary African American lens he creates work ranging from grounded romances to surrealist horror all of which spark conversation about race and American culture. Drawing on an eclectic range of inspirations including Kendrick Lamar and comic books, Wesley creates art that portrays people of color as dynamic, messy, and beautiful.

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Writer Statement

A Good Place To Raise A Boy was birthed out of a visceral helplessness I felt in the Summer of 2016. Philando Castile and Alton Sterling had been killed one after another and I felt in my gut a need to say something. Being a child of a history teacher my brain always goes to precedent, although racial violence is sewn into the fabric of the United States, the infamous case of Emmett Till or the Chicago Negro Boy, as they called him in the papers - was the first time the country’s ugly violence against young Black children had been put on display for the entire world to see.
Emmett was just a kid and yet he’d been mutilated and discarded - why? Because he’d broken the rules of the country he had found himself within. He crossed the line that he was to stay away from and for that they killed him. The story of the sleepy town of Money, Mississippi and the violent crime committed there drove me to spend the last two years developing the piece that you are about to see. As a creator I am someone who is deeply interested in stories that show tender, complex and intimate portraits of people of color. So when writing Good Place it was my goal to not only retell the story but to uncover the humanity of Emmett and his family.
The story of Emmett Till is just as heartbreaking and relevant as it was more than half a century ago, and If this play captures even a fraction of the spark that lead me to it in the first place I will have done my job. I thank you so much for allowing me to share this story with you. It truly means the world to me.