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"Tolley's Place
by shirley sarmiento (alley461@juno.com)

Rated: R   Genre: Drama   User Review:

"Tolley's Place" is a safe haven for African American women to expose their true emotions through the exchanging of conversations.It is a place where women come and learn how to save their own lives. It's a refuge for women where the silence ends and empowerment begins. "Tolley's Place" is where the women reshape their lives.

This screenplay is copyrighted to its author. All rights reserved. This screenplay may not be used or reproduced without the express written permission of the author.



Urban City in America / a small


women sharing experiences about
what has happened to them.
      (In apartment)
music playing


She takes off her hat and coat

She sits down on the couch

and beings to talk to herself. I

can't believe she is gone.

My God

Just like that. She is gone. She

just left us. Faster than a blink

of an eye. We were just altogether

were just a couple of days ago.

Hanging out and enjoying

each other partying off of

song 1999.(ha)

just last weekend. She



                       ALLEY (cont'd)
checked out on us.

I just

can't believe she is gone. Just

like that, poof. None of us that

was at the party can believe it.

All us are in a state of shock.


My friend SAHARA told me she is


shocked at Lennie dying SO QUICK

then when

her own mother died.


DON'T NOT REALLY. I am aware that

things happens all the time.As I

medical issues she had not


Maybe she did send call out

or help, maybe no one heard her/or

no one listened. To busy tending

our own lives.

The thing is people can't read

other people's minds.



                       ALLEY (cont'd)
No one knows anybody's pain.

Pain is hard to detect when one is

covering it up.

Maybe she held all of it inside.

die. Or maybe she felt invisible

like how a lot of us feel.

It was also mentioned that she was

not taking her medication like she

should have. I remember her saying

many times that she didn't like

the the medication, because it

makes her sicker.

Maybe she needed some relief from

this crazy mixed up world of ours.

You and I

know it has it's crazy moments.

It's very confusing to me at

truthfully no one knows what


All I can say is let's not let it

happen to the rest of us.



                       ALLEY (cont'd)

need help we do/life work.

Perhaps some kind of what could

have helped her? Question we don't


Most people are to embrassed to
ask for help.
She probably would have been have

been against going. You know what

I guess she had it with LIVING.

For God sakes/for the life

of me. True the world is a very
complicated , but you must learn
how to keep it simple. Just keep
it simple you hear me. I don't
understand what's

makes a person don't want to live

anymore when they can.

(teary eyed) I don't understand

We will probably never know the

answers or the reasons.

There probably ain't no answers.

The only thing that I know for

sure that it's not going to

happen to me.I'm going to live,

even if I have to go for help.

counseling/therapy all of it.


                       ALLEY (cont'd)

Heard it helps you when your down

you just have to go. It helps

assist you through life's

challenges guides a person through
life. All of us know that all of
us are going to

die one day, but you don't have to

plan your own death.

(facing towards the ceiling again)

I refuse to go out like that

(shakes head her back n forth)Oh
nope not me God. I just ain't

going out without some kind of

fight. I'll fight.
I wonder did if anyone knew of her

pain. We couldn't even help her

because, we didn't know what was

going on with her. Are we that out

of touch with reality?


probably isn't one answer. But

this I know for sure it ain't



                       ALLEY (cont'd)
happening to me. I'm going to

give this world my best. If I have

to get some help well so be it.

I've got nothing to be ashamed of.

None of us here got nothing to be

ashamed of if you need help you

just get up enough nerve and ask
for it need help ask for it.
      (Phone call to Kim)
Hi girlfriend how you doing?I know
it's tough
      (phone rings KIm
       picks up)
I'm feeling so bad, just so

sad about Lennie my /our girl's

death. I'm not doing to good

but, I'll live.

live (laughs a little)

So what's up?
I'm calling to ask you you to come

and go with me to this

place where women help support
women. Women go there and get

I thought you might be


                       ALLEY (cont'd)

interested in checking this place

out with me.
What is it?

Ain't no place where we get into

some good trouble. Meet some rich

men or women? A place where we can

get some money? (laughing)Are they

giving out jobs are they hiring

us Black women finally?
You are so funny.

I it is a place that you can go to

for help. Just being there helps

the atmosphere let's you


It's a place where us women can

go talk, share and even learn

from each other. In other words a

place where you can speak your

mind. Heard it's like

us women trying to solve our


Women exchanging information

It's a place where Black women can


                       ALLEY (cont'd)

go and heal themselves of whatever

ails them. Talk it out with other

woman who understand how you are

feeling. You can just speak your

mind. Talk about what bothers you.

You know all of us women

need all kind of support after

all this system hasn't been very

kind to us. Ain't that right?
Sure you are right, what we going

to do when we get there?

Talk about your life? What needs

fixing a what's alright you know

stuff life talk.
I really don't know much about it.

I just heard it was a great

space for us women.

details, all I have is the address

and find out once we got there

tomorrow. You going with me right?


That's what I want to

hear. I knew you would go with

me. Ok goodby see you tomorrow.
This is

going to be an exciting place to

visit. I heard about them , but

never thought I/me would ever have

to go. I've got a feeling is going

to a wonderful experience.I can't


It's just a place, a space. I

heard this place is suppose help

us. Help us get and keep our

selves together. Just be cool I'll

get in front of you.

(knocks on the

door several times knock, knock,



      (opens door)
Hello come in.
Just make yourselves comfortable.

You can even take off your shoes

if you like.

relax /breathe.
      (Glances around)
So this is the place. Where

women come and shed their tears

and get rid of their fears.
      (all together)
Yes this is the place where women

come to learn how to save their

own souls.
Ain't nothing considered

stupid or foolish up in here.

I tell you if these walls could

talk. There are lots of secrets

inside these walls. Secrets that


                       SPIRIT (cont'd)

should have been told years ago.

Keeping secrets have killed

This Place can it help us. Can it

help us lift our spirits back up

that the locust stole from us?

Can it help us, because we need

some kind of confirmation for our

lives? Can this place do that for

      (picks up her
       glass of water)
Miss Tolley is the owner. Me,no

I'm her assistant. I'm working on

myself as we talk.(laughs)

It's is about how to quiet your

thoughts and learning how to

your life. This place is about

healing our own souls , it's about

learning how to live your life on

your own terms. It's about moving

out of your comfort zone.

Let the shame and mistakes go.



                       SPIRIT (cont'd)
anyone of you read the book on

Shame by Dwaye Dywer? I suggest

you get it and read it. It's very

powerful. We must learn how to be

proud of ourselves and show it. We

need to celebrate each other more


We have to empower ourselves,

because no other race of women

the issues that we embrace.

This place was made a

refuge/safe haven for us women.So

we can share our stories openly.

Share their stories and share

I think I finally found a place

I can just let it all go.
All our issues need to be

addressed. Starting from dealing

with stress to childbearing to

racism/sexism, ageism. I could go

on and on. Is there help anywhere

for us. We were referred here via


                       ALLEY (cont'd)

some friends of ours. They told us

we can try Tolley's Place for

" Tolley"s Place is a refuge place
it's a safe haven

where women can come and talk

freely about themselves. Their

feelings, express themselves. Know

I mean?
Well This place sounds like the

place I've been searching for all

of my life.

The things we learned was cooking

and cleaning and a waiting on men

and the children. Lots of that has

changed now thank God. These times

are new and changing women are
working taking care of themselves,

and their children/fatherless.

been taught to deal with our

emotions and feelings.Things

was cooking and cleaning/feeding

the babies. Put everyone in front

of ourselves. And the list goes on


                       ALLEY (cont'd)

and on.
Alley please be quiet and let her

tell us all about how this place.

So we can decide if this

place could be of some great value
to us , to our lives. Know what I
Something cold or something

hot. We have both just go right
over there and help yourselves.
Thanks water will do
I am so thisty.
      (standing at the
Alley what's you having? We've

got a hot pot of coffee and
there's some tea. Take your pick.
Take your pick?
      (standing in front
       of couch where
       she was sitting)
Spirit I will take a glass of

water. Thank you
      (looks at Spirit)
Ok yes I've got it . I can handle

this. (smile back at Spirit)
Well , ladies Alley and kim

welcome to "Tolley's Place. Have



                       SPIRIT (cont'd)
either one of you been here
No, no I must say I have never

here before. I heard about it.
I heard about it from my

girlfriend right over there (

points to Alley)
Spirit just tell us about this

Yes, please tell us all about it.

Please. I am so excited to hear

this place came into it's being.
Ok, ok you see ladies this place

is a haven , a safe place of

refuge for us women to come and

      (glances around
       the room)
So it really is that kind of

Yes that's it they come to share

all kinds of things that the

wouldn't or couldn't share with



                       SPIRIT (cont'd)
anyone else. The women know

that whatever they say it will be

left right here. Just like a

secret. It goes no further. The

women come here to share and

understand the meaning of their

      (grinning a bit)
Share what? Share what kinds of

Like I said, this place is

a place of love and kindness

dedicated to the betterment of

women's lives. No matter what

their situations are or were. If

can help make it better we will.

You can say we are in the business

of saving are Black women.
I have been searching for a place

like this most of my life.
What you say, share my feelings, a

place of acceptance.


      (talking slowly)
This place is where women come and

talk freely and openly.

It's about sharing, growing and

evolving into our best selves and
best life. We will It is done

through conservation and the
exchange of information. It takes
work to rid of negative
thoughts. Don't You know that you
precious which comes from God and
anything that comes from God is
good. It's about building
ourselves up. It's about sharing
and growing into our individual
selves our best selves. It's
about This safe place is about
women and learning how to take
control of our own lives. You
need to learn how to evolve, grow
, mature into your own person. Who
you really want to be not who you
think you are. This is a place
that gives one the opportunity to
learn how to empower themselves.
It teaches you how to take charge
of your own life ah empowerment.
Yep, I got it now.
Why didn't anyone tell us all
this empowerment sooner.
Yea like when we were born? When
we were teenagers understand what
I mean?

Why don't women

know these things or is this just

part of society that tries to keep
us subservient/ life lessons/not
written in a book? Nope nothing to
prepare us for the ups and downs
of life.


When you think about it , it is

hard to explain, because life is

difficult to a degree. So talking

it out and listening to others and

working it out.

helps. It's an exchange of

positive information and you can

take it and do with it however you

want , but use it for your

Life has a way of testing you ,

you can test with good things or

you can use bad things , but cause

and effect will let you know

Of course I understand.
I think I understand at

least some of what Spirit is

saying. Tell us more please..
Let me just share this with the
both of you. The

women who come here for help are



                       SPIRIT (cont'd)
not coming here to ask the world

to save them. Oh no The

women come here, because they are

to save themselves.
I'm loving this.

I'm so glad we came.
Here in this place we do lots of

work on forgiving our own selves

We learn how not to beat

up so bad. We learned to

stop carrying everyone's burdens

around. you know the weight of the

world on our shoulders.

When you cone to the realization

that only you can save you. Then

and only then you will take charge

of you.

We have a little saying here we

it's let go and let God . Learn

to be still.

Say it to your higher power or

whoever you pray to. It's all


                       SPIRIT (cont'd)

We as women need tools to work

with. Just like a nail needs a

hammer. Hear what I say we need

Wonderful . I think that

is so wonderful .
Yes, alright now saving our

ownselves. Yes I like that.
You see here we try and and

provide a calm and nurturing ,

loving atmosphere for the women.
                       TOLLEY (Miss)
      (looking around
       the place)
Hello lovely ladies. Come in
welcome, I'm

Miss Tolley the owner of this

wonderful spiritual healing space.
Hello it's such what a pleasure

to meet you.
                       TOLLEY (Miss)
Spirit, I trust you have been

treating the women well in my



                       TOLLEY (cont'd)
absence? Spirit is a

wonderful friend and she's my

unofficial assistant. I just love

      (sitting down)
Sorry, women continue didn't mean

to interrupt.
Here is where you learn how to
empower ourselves.

We empower ourselves thru letting
things go that hurt us. We share
and do affirmations. For example
here's one " I can do all things
thru Christ who strenthens me/ or
just think I am that which comes
from God. Just meditate on that it
makes you think. Here we work on
      (straighting her
That is so wonderful. I can't

anyone asking me about what's

inside my my soul.

Even if they did I wouldn't know

what to say. I'd probably give

them a vague answer. Never really

give it much thought until now.

Knowing my own soul.
                       TOLLEY (Miss)
The majority of people don't think



                       TOLLEY (cont'd)
it is important until something

happens. Then bamm it just

comes up from outter no where.

like that famous saying I love by
Ralph Emerson said

, he was at Walden Pond and was

getting ready to die and in dying

he found out that he hadn't really

lived. You've must take the time

to discover yourself and then your

life will become a fascinating

journey when you discover who

really are. It all takes work.
We meet the women wherever they

are at. Life ain't structured.
You must remember you have control
over your own life and it's up to
you to put it in some kind of
order. Your life is up to you.
      (In deep thought)
Never really took the time to

relate to my own feelings and my

own emotions. I just never took

the time. I was always so busy. I

was working and raising them three

children. One is college got two


                       KIM (cont'd)

more to go.
That husband of mine
bailed out on us. He was hanging

out with this wig wearing hoochi

mama. I guess men love hair even

if it is false.

I got a divorce

and kept it moving survival of the
                       TOLLEY (Miss)
Whether you want to believe

it or not that is some serious

stuff you've been through. It's a

struggle for all of us women.
You are right.
If we don't do it/nobody else is.
We gotta fight.
Kim, husband

kids? Feelings of abandonment?
I was shame that my marriage

I never wanted to come out of the

house. I was embarrassed and

feeling like a failure.

I thought my depression would

last forever. What a shocker.


                       KIM (cont'd)

It's all was over just like that.
Just like it never happened. The
reality set in on me. I was left
with the kids. He got to be free.
Not a nice story.
He had the nerve to be messing
around with the woman around the
corner. Can you believe that?He
could have been with someone on
the other side of the city.

So just like that the marriage
was over I

divorced him so quick and I

never looked back.
                       TOLLEY (Miss)
let me tell you my sister
Girlfriend it doesn't

matter where you came from. What

kind of circumstances you were in.

That stuff doesn't matter to the

women here, we still

love you. Our place is based

on loving and helping each other.
This place teaches love ,

forgiveness and acceptance of


We love all the women

who walks thru our doors.
We don't
care where you come from but what
we do care about is where are you


                       TOLLEY (cont'd)

When you leave here. We love you.
      (teary eyed)
Truth be told we are here,

one of our best friends died and
we can't cope with her passing and

don't know what happened to her .

We can't understand it. We are

We cant understand it.
      (teary eyed)
Miss Tolley gets up and gets box

tissues from off the coffee table

and hands the box to her. Kim

passes tissues to (Alley)

We are just devastated . She died

so suddenly, so quickly, so

quietly without a warning.. Almost
as quick as a blink of an eye.
Understand what I'm trying to say?
Jumps up in order to change the

mood of things) Would anyone like

to hear this wonderful poem?
Please allow me to share it with


      (Swiping her eyes)
Sure we would like to hear it.
I'd love to hear

some encouraging words.
We we need healing and

whatever it takes? God give us

strength to endure and the
courage to go on.
Seems as

through some kind of healing

takes place whenever I

read it.
We were close very close all us.

I feel horrible just horrible.
      (someone could be
       dancing or music
       in background)
My woman hood

Makes me who I am

I am a African American

I am Black

I am beautiful

I have confidence

I am me

I fight for my freedom

hard and long



                       SPIRIT (cont'd)
I am me

I am not as strong as you may

at times weakness overwhelms me

many times

so many times

I have confidence

I believe

have hope

Still standing

sometimes weak at the knees

still standing

fighting for my life and others

can't speak for themselves

still standing.
That was beautiful I loved it.
I can get a copy of that.

Hey man upstairs or women upstairs
give us Black women a break down
here. Life isn't this hard for
White women at least not the white
women I know.

I tell people all the time that
when I be dreaming.

I feel just like getting a big
can of white paint and paint
myself white and walk around all
over the place. Remember the
book/Black Like Me? Where the
white man painted himself Black?



                       ALLEY (cont'd)
I'd take that paint and

roll it all up and down my colored
body. I just

wonder how it feels to be

I mean ain't

nobody ever celebrated us Black

or gave us any credit for all we
contributed to this society.
Where's our holiday? The black and
white men raped us and got away
with it. Got the nerve to say we
wanted it. That's a dam lie not
rape we wanted. They did give
women a little credit down the
line let me name a few of us
Harriet Tubman and Zora Hurston
and a few others. We need a Black
women's celebration month. Hey
Let's create one for ourselves.
Wouldn't that be wonderful just
Sounds good to me lets create our

own celebration.
                       TOLLEY (ms)
I just want to be me.
What about us? What about

acknowledging us Black women.
College you got the nice

professors and you've got the

racist ones. The one's who don't

understand our culture, our
language or


                       KIM (cont'd)
our writing. And I don't under
stand theirs.I don't sure is hell
understand theirs and I don't
want to.

I have no desire. I just want to
finish and get out of there. I
don't need no big house and an
expensive car. Simple just simple
that's it.
Let me put it this way. Just
because I'm a white women you
really think it hasn't happened to
me? I was living with my aunt and
her husband down in the south. My
momthr had died and my father
don't know his whereabouts. Anyway
one night my aunt 's husband came
into my bedroom and raped me. I
was 14 yeas old. Had a kid a boy.
Now 30 years old. I tried to tell
the family that he raped me. I
believe they knew everything was
hush hush. My aunt didn't leave
him either. I had to leave because
they the family said, I was
promisus. Ha my lord. We ask
ourselves is it worth it to fight
all these dam people? ? yes it
was worth it. We've got to fight
for each other.
      (stands up)
Lets make a women's pledge
alliance. Here goes.

We will not be silenced in our

hearts and in our minds.(sits back

down)Yall like this? Come on now
all together/
We will not be silenced in our
hearts and in our minds.


                       ALLEY (ms)
You are right we will not be

silenced. I love that. I am the
woman who

women who got fired for doing the
right thing.

women always have to work harder
and lower pay. There is a few
white women I know they cheat them
like they cheat us. Horrible. It
won't change until we fight to
change it. Gotta fight for
ourselves. No doubt.
As I see it it's their problem

not ours. Our hearts and our

culture teaches us to kind because

our race reaches out to everyone

color is not an issue with us. We

love people all kinds/all colors

of people Their lost our gain.

Look at it this way. In a postive

Racism racism /classism
      (stands up)
In living color discrimination at
it's best.
Society has pinned us Black women

as being to aggressive. Too out

spoken what?


                       TOLLEY (cont'd)

It means that if a White

women or man says it, it's ok.

When a Black women speaks her mind

or opinion that's being
Yes we are Black and proud. Who
else our we suppose to act like.
The bottom line is just let me be
who I am.

don't want to be White. Just want

to be who I am.
My mouth is for talking and
eating(laughs). If you

don't say nothing, then who will?

Nobody will speak up for us. Why I

got to be quiet? Everybody else is

talking and saying whatever they
want to say.
Going through this day after

day after day it weakens your

soul, your spirit. You have to

learn to fight back in positive
and meaningful ways.
My wish is that these people get

over it.People of color



                       ALLEY (cont'd)
are here and they are going to be

here. So get over it racist folks.
Our girlfriend died over all this

negative stuff.It wasn't paining

her on the outside. It got her in

the inside her soul where it all

hurts so bad.
      (hollers/stands up)
Yes me (points at

herself) I am angry. You think

just, because I walk around all

day with a smile on my face that I

am happy? This Black

woman right here is angry. My pain

is invisible to other people. I

can see it and I can feel it and

hear it. I stay in a state of

You won't know, because I wear a s

smile on my face, That's all

learned behavior. (stands up )

The older I get the worst the rage



                       ALLEY (cont'd)
gets. It's eating me up inside.

Sometimes I feel like I want to

kill somebody. Not just anybody

I've got a few people I'd

personally would love to kill.

Unkind words and people and racism

and hatred directed towards you.

No reason at all. Makes people

want to hurt other people. Hold

all the stuff in not me I can't.

(Hollers loud) It's all invisible.

People can't see it.

(points to her heart) The hurt my

it's all inside here. The pain of

being alive.

I stay in a perpetual state of

anguish . And don't nobody see it.

People don't

realize that they have caused it.

Yes, this here so called great
society caused it.

(stands up) No wait a minute

me. I feel like

Stuff makes you feel



                       ALLEY (cont'd)
like that. I know I must learn how

to just hold on. Keep it cool, but

I am so angry on the inside. See
here (points to her heart)

(swinging/swaying her arms,

walking back and forth. I am in a
state of anguish.

The people in this world act like,

we, us sister's pain don't even

exist. It's like we are
Girlfriend calm down. I

know it hurts but understand we
ain't the only one's hurting.
Other people hurt too it all
I might appear on the outside

to be nice. Ok go along

with the person on my job.

That's where alot of bull happens.

You put your pencil on the left

hand side of your desk and they

call into the office, because they

say the rules is that the pencil

belongs on the left side of the

desk. What difference do it make.



                       ALLEY (cont'd)

huh. I'm doing my job.

That's called bullying people on
their job. Recently they have
passed laws that supposedly

people from getting bullied at the

Stuff makes you crazy. you hear me

crazy. Then you have to go home to

family and your man who don't even

know how to value your

worthiness.. Black women get a bad


How come My own

opinion can't be just as good as

the next person?
Tell us what

happened and who did what? All of
us got our stories and we want
to tell them. Release them I think
the conclusion is we have to
understand that everybody has a
story that needs telling.


      (talking and
       walking back and
       forth across the
I remember this incident like it
was yesterday.


                       KIM (cont'd)

It was a racially mixed group of

people there. I think three White

men, two White women, two Black

men,two Black women myself

included. Oh as a matter of fact

it was a planning committee

meeting about what kind of

activities could they do for MLK

day. Some staff members plus

visitors were sitting around

meduim conference table trying to

think of ideas, suggestions things

to do for that day. I was kind of

just listening to their ideas. All

of a sudden I get this idea in my

head. So I tried to work my way

into the conversation. Well

eventually they let me speak. I

began with wasn't Martin Luther

King interested in the poor and

hungry? Why don't we organize

people to go to the soup kitchens

and volunteer. Girl soon as I got

that out of my mouth an older very



                       KIM (cont'd)
respected Black man in the

community, immmediately rejected

my idea and told me to shut up.

Yall know I was furious talking

about angry. You would have

thought that he would have agreed

or made some alternative

suggestions, but he didn't. Hot

was I and you know it. Then boom

out of nowhere this voice a white

man said, interrupting the Black

man and says wait a minute lets

hear her out it sounds to me like

a very valid suggestion. Lets hear

her out.What I said, was since

Martin worked with the poor people

instead of celebrating lets donate

our time to the soup kitchens, We

could donate food and some clothes

to the people who need them. We

could do things like that instead

of having a celebration. Lets do

some work for a change.Instead of

all those speeches and music



I know exactly what you are
talking about. diss me,

I stand my ground.
      (still standing up)
Listen to this the same White man

who intervened for me spoke up and

said , he liked my idea and said

yes I think this woman does have a

valid point. So, took a deep

breath and I said to myself thank

you God. We had a short coffee

break during the meeting. I'd

managed to wandered over to the

coffee pot where he was fixing

himself a cup of coffee. I don't

really drink coffee (laughs) So I

quickly glanced around the room to

find out where the other people

were located. Noticed that they

were engrossed in various

conversations with each other. So


                       KIM (cont'd)

this was my chance to find out

just who was this man who made me

finally feel sane. He was in the

process of pouring coffee into his

cup. I moved in on him and

whispered in his left ear. Who the

are you? He told me that he was

the head of the Union Society for

Human and Civil Rights I said, to

myself. This man has some clout

know what I mean? I returned to my

seat at the table. I said to

myself . I am not crazy after all

I thank the Gods for that white

I can relate to that.

It wasn't the White man , it was

the Black man who rejected you.

Talking about being invisible on

the White side now it's on the

Black side. That's horrible.
It's like your opinion doesn't
But you must make it count. Were
all in this together


                       TOLLEY (cont'd)
honey.Remember that.
Leave it up to some people we

won't ever count. Weve got to
speak up open up our mouths.

People will try to silence

they really do silence some

of us. My sister laws niece Pat
didn't speak for years she use to
talk then she just stop taling for
several years. Then I heard she
had starting talking again and I
ran into her and I asked her why
did she stop talking. nd this is
what she told me that no one was
listening to her. That stayed on
my mine for many years. She
stopped talking, because no one
was listening. Not her family, not
her friends.
Ladies, please I share my anger. a

I'm angry with

the men. The bad tasteless jokes

about women. The raping the
petifiles , the sexual misconduct,
all of it wrapped up.

I do really like men ,maybe it's

their behavior that bothers me.

My father

chaffer and janitor was the most


                       SPIRIT (cont'd)

influential man in my life. Never

met another one like him. He was
kind, gentle and loved his family.

He was tall and tan handsome

with a mustache and head full of

wavy hair..

Kept himself neat

and clean.

My father worked his but off to
take care of us.

All of us ate we and had enough

clothing and a roof over our

I hate to bash men b, but Men
don't take care of their families
like they us to. Well maybe a few.
Well I guess I can't put all men
in the same bag.
Yea I must say my friend Richard
takes great care of his wife and
kids, I will honor that.

So today I tell you I

am mad at men the Black

man/perhaps all men I'm mad at.

they say we/us Black women

are too aggressive. When we speak

our mind. Well go with



                       SPIRIT (cont'd)
whomever you want dearie.

Please don't be mad at me when I
go with a man not of my color
times have changed and I'm glad.
There's new fish in the sea out
there. And I'm glad. More pickin's
for us women.

Men that is not our

sisters problems.

Black men need to learn how to
Times have changed.
Tell it like it is girlfriend,

tell it like it is.
      (nods her head up
       and down.)
I feel you, Isn't our lives worth

something. The stuff we have to go

through. I just want to have

simply wonderful life.
Wait a minute, just wait one

minute. I just remembered some

other anger stuff. I want yall to


                       ALLEY (cont'd)

listen to if you ladies don't
What you kidding girl?
If you live long enough you'll

learn that people are something

else even your own family.
      (appears to
I'm angry to. yes, I'm angry right

place of refuge.. I'm angry with

he Black man. All jokes a side I

really do like them as a matter of

fact I love them, but they don't

like me. My father was the most

influential man in my life/still

is and he's dead.. He was a very

wonderful kind man. He was also

quite handsome. He was tall and

had that bronze brown smooth skin.

I can't get with these men

nowadays. I suppose I don't

understand what's going on with

men today. My father went to work


                       KIM (cont'd)

everyday. Our family never missed

a meal he fed us well. He kept a

decent roof over our heads and

most of all he adored my mother.

You feel me.. Now it appears that

men just don't know how to handle

strong, well educated independent

They say us Black women are to

agressive, honey please. Heard

they say White women are more

passive. I really don't have a

problem with Blackmen going with

White women.. Don't blame us Black

pride in ourselves.I bet the White

man ain't scare of us sisters no

more. Thank God it's changing.

White men loving us sisters now

and they are not threatened by us.
Stand stand up my black brother

and fight. I'm tried of being in

the front lines of the

battlefields/stand up Black man.We



                       ALLEY (cont'd)
sister's need you love and

support.The Black men have the

nerve to be mad at us sisters for

working and getting and education

and holding it together, please

give me a break. Get it together

brothers. I do love Black men, I

really do. But y'all need to get a

handle on things. Believe me I

know it's tough and I truly feel

your pain, but do you feel my


It ain't easy this I know, but who

said,it would be easy?Sometimes I

suppose some people just want the

easy way out. Hear me there is no

easy way out. I truly wish there

was , because I would gladly take

it myself.
All of us need healing.

(looking around and says out

God, I love this place.Wanna know
why I'll tell you why, because it
was created for all of us women.



                       TOLLEY (cont'd)

This place is for us

to heal, breathe and begin

Yes, so glad I/we decided to come.
Tell us about yourself Miss

Please tell us your story.
                       TOLLEY (ms)
My life was not all that. But

I was determined had my eyes on

the prize you hear me. I know

was something I could do to

help/help us women thru our bad

times and celebrate for the good


Of course people came at me all

kinda ways. They threw negative

stuff at me was coming at

me hitting me from all sides.

(laughs) I kept right on

working and saving my money

holding on and believing. My

faith and my dreams that's all I



                       TOLLEY (cont'd)

I kept right on going.
      (looks at John)
John you can come back later or

you can clean tomorrow.
      (gathers his
OK I'll come back later

this evening when all the ladies

are gone.
Sometimes John stops his cleaning
to come in

here and give us women some words

of wisdom from a man. Ain't that

right Mr. John.
      (to Mr. John)
Can you give us women some good

advice right now Mr,John/from a

mature man's point of view. Some

advice on life.
Well, I'll try and give you

pretty ladies the best advice

that I have. Let me see where



                       JOHN (cont'd)
should I start it won't be long.
Let's hear about life from a man's

point of view.
I'm taking My wife Jesse out to

dinner we are celebrating our 35

years being together.
Mr.John please share your secrets

with us

about living a good life. Had to

be good if you've been married for

35 years.
Well isn't that wonderful 35 years

to the same woman?
True love.
You have to follow your own

dreams. First forgive yourself.

of us make mistakes.

Remember nobody's perfect.

It's about all learning from your

is takes no roadmap to follow.



                       JOHN (cont'd)
Tell us more Mr John.

from a man's point of view.
You see life ain't nothing

magical. Stuff just doesn't come

from out of the air. Life

is simple. Start at out by

Making a plan. Set yourself

goals that you want to reach and

work towards them. Nope

can't rush life no matter how

you try.

Wait, watch and be prayful.

Then everything will fall in

divine order. I hope I've left you

ladies with some valuable wisdom

about life.
Everything that you have said, is

so true.

I've tried to live my life in

divine order. My thing is to teach

women how to live and support one



                       TOLLEY (cont'd)
another and that's it.
Wait a minute I promise these are
my last

words. Then I'm going

to get out of here and leave you

ladies to get back to your own

sessions. Now,where was I? Ok now

I remember . What I was saying.

When things go wrong and sometimes

they will. Don't

give up you just keep right on

going. Because things are going to

happen. You've got to have faith
that everything is going to work
out. We all have broken hearts at
one time or another , but remember
love heals. My

youngest son got shot and killed

out there in them streets. I heard

it was about some drug stuff. I

really don't know what it was

about. That was a hard thing for

me to take. Hard for my wife

Shirley Jean to take. Talking

about a

rough time for our family (gets a

little teary eyed) Excuse me got


                       JOHN (cont'd)

to excuse me it breaks my heart

every time I talk about it, but it

also strengthens me when I share

my story. I tell you

if it wasn't for trusting in God
and family I

don't know how I would have made

it through. (shaking his

head right to left). I can't say

times are going to be good all of

the time. Who told you life

was easy? What I'm saying is that

you got to trust in God.

Faith is the one of the

most important things you can

have in life. Believe and know

everything is going to alright.

No life ain't bad it's how you

it. It ain't all bad.

Your going to have a great time
along your journeys.

Here's my message to you beautiful


Work hard and play hard it's all



                       JOHN (cont'd)
up to you. Pray everyday and be

true to yourself.

Love one another

treasure your good times. Get the

best that you can get out of your

own life and give your best. And
don't ever forget that Forgiveness
is a virture.
Love one another.
I think that's

what living is all about. I hope I

didn't take up to much of your

time. Let me get out of your


(gathers up his broom/mop and

can/pastic bags and exits the

      (glances around
       the room and
       looks at all the
       women in the room
       and begins to
Ladies remember what I said,

earlier that by no means has my

life been wonderful and so great.

Huh Y'all might think so by the

looks of this place. Let me tell

you. It took me to hell and back


                       TOLLEY (cont'd)

to secure this place. I almost

didn't get it. .( Throws her hands

towards the sky) I thank god for

the kindred spirits). Those evil

spirits was attacking me from all

sides(uses her arms back and
forth) The devil stayed in my way,
seemed like he blocked every step
I took, but I fought him off me.

I kept my eyes on the prize.
Nope, I ain't ever

ever going to look back.

Listen, You've gotta, have faith
trust and put in a lot of hard
work to make it happen. Believe in
yourself it will happen.

And that's the truth. i know
you've heard the saying.

If you have faith of a grain

of a mustard seed. That's tiny
small having that faith will get
you where you want to go.

Understand? Do know how small
that is?
I had this dream

that I was going to create this
space for us women.
All I know is that faith

don't fail. All I know is that I
needed this place for us women.

You understand talk with other
feel free.


                       TOLLEY (cont'd)

Black women

suffering all over the place for

that matter all over the world

women of color. White women

suffer too, but their suffering is
very different from us Black
women's suffering.

Us women need a

special place of our own.

An outlet for us women a relaxing
and quiet comfortable atmospere.

It allows us some breathing
space.Some let go of it all space.

Shoulders to cry on. A place away
from home a sacred place.
In this crazy mixed up world.

place is needed. It's a spiritual
place just look at the walls and
the pillows appears as through
they are praying for us all. The
walls are speaking to us saying
have a good life , move on life is

It's a place of freedom.

You've gotta get up and

get out there and don't be afraid.



                       TOLLEY (cont'd)

Here's what I did.

I woke one morning and the

sun was shining so bright through

my bedroom window. I started
talking to God/my higher power.

Like I always do every morning. I
pray every

morning, but for some reason this
morning seemed a little

bit different. I'm going to get
us women a space.

Us women need a place of our own.

women need a place for ourselves.

The God I know it's a lot

for ask for besides that I aint
got no money, but I know without
a doubt.

that you answer prayers.

There has got to be a

way. I have been told if you just

sit still and listen and wait and
the answer will come to you." I
can do all things through christ
who strenthens me/my soul.

God to answer you. And when he

does he will guide you to where
you need to go.



                       TOLLEY (cont'd)

Here right here this is the place
I created for all of all women.
This is

the world I created for myself
and for the women. I've

been put here to help support
listen to my sistergirls. All

make women's lives worth while

living. I am here to help. Come on
yall (holds out both hands)Lets
hold hands and say a pray
together. We can also sing a
This place is so beautiful.
I just love it. I have been
looking for a place like this all
of my life. Huh I finally found
Well all I can say is that I truly

thank the Gods for you. Sometimes
I just need to get away from the
outside world you understand?

Oh, sorry to interrupt.
Miss Tolley I to

want to thank you for

restoring my/are lives. Putting
back into ours lives what the
locust stole. I truly was loosing

faith. I guess that's what

it was. Husband left me and the

kids. Hell I had given up. But

Miss Tolley helped me in other


                       SPIRIT (cont'd)

words she restored my soul. ok

sorry for holding you up Miss

Tolley just wanted to let you know

how I felt about you. Go on you

have never shared that part of you

life with me.
      (still standing up)
Oh God I love this place. This

place provides wisdom,

guidance and support for me. Here

I've met the best coming

in and going out of these doors.

I've learned more about human

behavior right here,

You can learn something from

everybody if you take the time

listen. .

I often wonder how on earth

that I lived without it.

Times were tough for me. They are

always tough for Black women in

one way or the other, but honey we



                       TOLLEY (cont'd)

be making it by the grace of God.

be making it. We be making it

anyhow. Nope, life ain't promised

to nobody, nope not even to the

White folks.

Here's the secret how I did it .

I kept

putting a little money a side

saving it you know. Saving out of

that little paycheck every payday.

I was a social worker back then in

those days. Ha what a job that

was. Social workers do alot of

extra work helping people pull

their lives together. They are the

proffesions for all the work that

they do. I managed to save enough

money to put down on a place. You
know back then they didn't want
women buying a house or any kind
of property unless she had a
husband by her side. I

wanted a store front with a pretty

little front yard and pretty


                       TOLLEY (cont'd)

grass in the summertime. I wanted

to plant beautiful flowers.

You know make the outside of the
place look alive.

Yes God was working with

me. My motto is let life unfold
right before your eyes and let it

empower you. You've

got to believe it's going to

workout. I think they call it
faith. You've gotta dig deep down
in your gut. you've got to no how
to celebrate your own life first.
Joel Osteen quote:
When nobody else celebrates you
learn to celebrate yourself.
When nobody else compliments you,
then compliment yourself, It's not
up to other people to keep you
encouraged. It's up to you.
Encouragement should come from the

After that You

must celebrate each other.

Or our you just going

to just sit around and

cry yourselves to death? You must

take some kind of action . You
must Take a

stand for your own life. It's all
up to decide.

You must do


                       TOLLEY (cont'd)

something for yourself and then
you can do stuff for other's.

What do you want from life?
      (tells all the
       women to stand up
       and hold hands
       for a prayer)
As we struggle here in a unjust

world God I need for you to help

us sisters. God we need strength.

We need everything that you can

provide for us as we go about our

way. All the goodness and mercy

that you can load upon us . God

I'm praying directly to you to

believe and heal our situation

have been over whelming at

times. Things we don't have any

control over like death and

killings and so many other things

that happen. Sometime's we can't

get through it . Nope not without

your help. Father mother God

somehow, someway we've managed to

in spite of it all we got through

it. (the women saying amen/humming




                       TOLLEY (cont'd)
God you are our source and let us

not forget grace and surrender

that wakes us up in the morning to

see a brand new day and for that I

am so thankful all of us here,

Bless "Tolley's Place" and this

lovely day and time spent
Would anyone like to add something

to the prayer.
      (adds to the
(moving her arms and shaking her

shoulders) I am praying begging
God to

support all of us in our

efforts to live richer fuller


The saying goes

say if you have the faith of a
grain of

mustard seed everything will come.



                       SPIRIT (cont'd)

God will make it happen for you.

So all of you beautiful women

faith is the stuff that holds you

up.Because nobody can make a
judgement on nobody understand?

And you

better believe it. We all breathe
the same toxic air. (laughs)

and eat and love and cry. Then you

actually take a look at it with

God . We are all the same.
Thank you

Ms Tolley for giving us the

opportunity to visit.

It is not easy by no means. We
must not ever give up. Fighting
for our lives.

I would think that we must want
for the

universe the same things we want

for ourselves. Each and everyone

of us is entitled to a decent


                       KIM (cont'd)

(Altogether the women say)Amen
Go right ahead everybody told

their anger story you might as

well tell yours? Go ahead. you go

right ahead and tell your story.
Girl you go on and tell your

story. Too bad you missed ours but

perhaps next time when were all

here together you can hear ours.

Oh okay sorry I'm holding you up.

Tell your story we want to hear

your story about anger. Let us

hear it .
      (puts hand over
       her heart)
Well you know what I am in a

rage. I am in a rage so bad it

makes my chest hurt. I can't


It's like it's a systemic system

against us Black women. They all

have put together .

How invisable racism



                       SPIRIT (cont'd)
discriminates against us.

Black women. Starting with looks

the stares, glares. you get..

I could just lump all of them

together White folks, but I don't.

I'm not that ignorant.

I was taught better.

I was taught to receive people for

who they are.

I have White friends. who

are good and just. Won't dare

let them intimidate me.

I fire back no what I mean.

I moved into this so called white

complex at the time made up of


White and the few high class

lived there were light skinned

or high yellow.

I've been living there



                       SPIRIT (cont'd)
for about a month. Those White

folks put a note on my door which

read "NIGGER we don't want your

kind in the building.". First of

all I was appalled. Didn't know

White folks acted that ignorant. I

surely didn't want me and my

daughter to live somewhere where

we wasn't welcome. I

was getting ready to move get

out of there. I don't want to be

place I ain't wanted. You hear

me. So I shared the note with my

White middle aged female neighbor

Mrs Jay who lived directly across

the hall from me.I knocked on her

door and you asked me in. I showed

her the hand written note.

I told her I was going to move

and get the hell out of this

racist place.. I'll never forget

the way she looked at me and took

me by the arm. She looked at me

and she said, Jamie they just

don't like you because your young,


                       SPIRIT (cont'd)

smart and pretty don't let them

run you away. I'll telling you

don't let them push you out of

here. You don't go anywhere. You

stay here and fight back. Don't

let them push you around. Stay

here she said, I am with you all

the way. If anything happens.

Wait wait I got another thing that

happened oh oh yea. No just let me

finish. (the women)okay go

on /nodding their heads/

I'll back you up she assured me.

So I said, to myself this is good

if she is a woman of her word.
Can anyone tell me that life is

easy? Nope, not one you. Life is



                       TOLLEY (cont'd)
hard no doubt about it. . You

gotta live it and you gotta love

it to. You've got to roll with the

punches or else you'll get caught

up in the mix of things and some

not so good. Life is what you make

it. I mean things are certainly

going to happen. Some we just

can't avoid. What you want to do

is think them out the best way you

can. Take your time, ask questions

if you don't know how to deal with

stuff. Don't try and solve every

problem on your own.That's why we

have experts. Educate yourself

child educate yourself on the

issues your dealing with. Just

take your own time don't let

anyone rush you. Use your

spiritual up bringing meditate on

the issue, pray. Do anything that

you think will assist you getting

through rough times.This way you

won't be rushing in so fast and



                       TOLLEY (cont'd)
making all kinds of mistakes. You

must learn how to resolve things,

although somethings you can't


I brought this place to help

women, to empower women. I used my

life savings, because I believe in

helping women get through life.

Right now I'm in a little debt. I

owe some back taxes on it. I just

know I believe I have the faith

that I'm going to get the money to

keep this place open. It helps so

many women to help themselves.

There are somethings that you,me

none of us can go anything about.

Ain't that right? What I'm talking

about are the things that you can

do something about.

Anger and madness are two of the

most terrible things in the world.

We all have to realize that in an

imperfect world things are going

to happen. We must learn different



                       TOLLEY (cont'd)

ways to solve our problems. The

best thing I can tell you is ask

your higher power or whoever you

pray to, guide you in the right

direction no matter what the

problem is? Use your mind to the

best of you ability to get the

problem solved. That's when you

have to put and keep your armor

on, protect yourself. Yes, it is

true that life is tough, but it is

even tougher when you don't do

nothing to make it better for

yourself. Each and everyone of us

have something to give to

ourselves and to the world.

All of us have something to give

to make the world we live in a

better place.

(holds up her cup to the sky and


Here's to life, Here's to life.


One of my daughter's friends got

shot yesterday his brains laid out

in the middle of the street for

five hours before they cleaned

them up. The week before two of

her other friend got shot and

killed, because they say somebody

beat somebody for the drug

money.That's what the white man

aid, on the news report. Legalize

them that's what I say. Heard no

body showed up to claim the

bodies, because they didn't have

any parents. Shame , shame. Why

didn't the news paper print that

the young men who got killed

didn't have any parents. They

won't and won't hire them or me

They'd rather give it to a

handicapped person and pay them

less. Why doesn't the news print

that kind of news? Why don't they

print they are racist?

Anyway my heart is in pain and

torn up into little pits and

pieces. I am in anguish all over



                       KIM (cont'd)
inside my body. I want to

holler , I want to scream, shout,

cry. God what the hell is

happening to our Black children. I

know that it all can be stopped if

the White people,government can

legalize drugs. Somehow I think

society lives for the violence.

Violence sells education and peace

don't make profits.

Stop preaching that White people

are superior or chosen people of

the earth, because they are not.

All of us are God's children. No

way we can't be silenced. We must

stand up and stand together and

fight. We got to speak up.

When my daughter came home and I

opened the door. She fell out in

the middle of my living room floor

with tears streaming down her

cheeks. She said, mommy why? Why?

Mommie Does this keep happening

over and over again. Mostly to

Black people it is not right, it



                       KIM (cont'd)
is not fair, it is wrong.

How in the hell you think that

feels to me? I felt helpless

that's right helpless.Not hard to

figure out war on drugs, drugs on

war or whatever. Just say no

right? I don't think so. If you

live in urban american you know a

little something about drugs. Old

people even us them now. Legal

pills ha what a mess. All the

older people I know are addicted

to pharmacy drugs. Doctors and the

government hooked up. Sell the

drugs in the drugstore. One drug

is just as bad as the next.

I tried very hard to comfort my

daughter . I hugged her and I

kissed her and promised her that

there will be better days ahead.I

tell her you see honey they sell

the drugs to get money, because

the White man won't give them or

us Black women no jobs no jobs .

That pay worth anything.

Sometimes the White man won't even



                       KIM (cont'd)

give your mama a job. I've got a

college degree. It ain't fair.I'm

beginning to think it's all

designed like that.Drug money is

fast and easy money for a while

and then the drug game turns

nasty. The drug dealers sell the

drugs to the drug users in order

to ease their pain and agony. Yea

they take the drugs to numb their

pain. Their are some are living

with their mother's raising they

own daddies kids. because they

daddies done run off and became

an alcoholic and couldn't get or

keep a job. So he needs to numb

his pain. So the fifteen years old

son become the man of he house. It

is an enormous task. Lets face it

the reality of it all is that this

is a materialistic world . You

need money to survive. No question

everyone wants a piece of the pie.

Because I do to. If you get


                       KIM (cont'd)

caught selling drugs you go to

jail. Well hell put the Doctors in

jail let them do some time.Well

just legalize the stuff people are

going to use drugs bottom line.
                                         JOB HUNTING STORY
Girl don't try to get job. ok ok

it goes like this. You walk up to

the desk. They already have you on

the outside camera ha ha. You say

very professionally. Good morning

I'd like to fill out a job

application for you company. The

White man or White woman

looks up at you and says. let me

check my appointment book. You say

okay. The White person checks the

appointment book and guess what

your right. They give you the

application to fill out and bring

back in two weeks. Okay so you


                       KIM (cont'd)

out the application and come back

in two weeks and guess what again?

The White man or woman forgot to

put your name down in the

appointment book. If your

persistent you begin to explain

the person that you were there

before how else did you get the

application to fill out if you

weren't there.So finally he/she

says the can try and fit you in

tomorrow, just come back tomorrow.

I ain't got no money to come back

tomorrow. .(says to herself) I

spent all my money today coming

here. So somehow you manage to

beg, borrow or the money in order

to get to a job interview.
Yea, yea I know all about it. I

take that back we know all about

They give you an interview that

has nothing to do with the job



                       KIM (cont'd)
performance. They give you a test

that no dam sense. For example if

you had a glass of water which

side of the desk should it sit on

the right side or the left side.

You say to yourself of course

(what the hell is the difference)?

As long as it's on the desk.
Hell I know the rest of the story

wait. Don't tell me. And it goes

like this. Now stop me y'all

sister's if I'm wrong.You say to

yourself all I want is a job. By

this time you have been there all

day. Then they finally read your

test scores. Sometimes they will

tell you sorry you failed the test

Now see here your test scores

weren't high enough or come back

tomorrow and talk to a manager. So

now you have spent 3 or 4 days

messing with this place. Now

listen just listen to this. You



still trying to do the right

thing. You didn't have a job from

the very beginning. Just had

transportation for one day.rest of

the money borrowed. All this

running around for a minimum wage

job. It just don't make no sense

to me. Is a wonder people take

drugs to numb themselves. I wanted

to take some too.(hand up to her

nose like sniffing some coke.


After having done all of that they

don't hired you. Not even a note

or a phone call.
      (stands up))
Thank God for family and friends.

Who say try somewhere else. Then

you don't want to go job hunting.

That in it's self is stressful.

Some people say, they would rather

take a chance on selling drugs and

going to jail. You certainly make

good money, but you don't want to


                       ALLEY (cont'd)

go to jail. People buy and take

drugs all the time.. Yea it's

profitable, but quite

dangerous.Fact the United States

government knows that the drug

wars are going on.Been going on

for along time. Too many of our

peoples die from drugs. Us Black

folks are losing to many of our

kind to drugs. Nowadays lots of

White people also dying from drug


We gotta create our own stuff. We

have to do something so that this

cannot continue to happen to our

race. We just can't sit down and

Nope ain't no time to be silent.

We gotta speak out loud , you hear

me speak out loud and send a clear

message out to the people

saying. "We will not be silenced

in our voices, hearts and in our

minds. Yes, we are going to save

ourselves our sons and our

grandson's and our Black men.


                       ALLEY (cont'd)

Nope, no way us Black women will

be silenced.

(Holding her head down shaking it

from left to right)
"Tolley's Place" is the place

where you can let it go.

I would very much like it if Black

men would take responsible for

their lives and stop being so weak

and so intimidated by the white

folks. Black man stand up and

fight them instead of letting them

get the best of you. I am tried

of being in the front lines battle

fields. Know what I mean? Black

men need to learn how to keep in

the flow of life. Seems as through

they get so far and then. wow.

They don't learn how to keep

growing and developing. They get

struck like undeveloped. I know

alcohol and drugs has a lot to do

with it. Get off the stuff and



                       TOLLEY (cont'd)
learn how to live and grow. They

need to keep themselves out of

jail/the White folks lawyers

judges and legal people are

getting rich off them/us. Hello

Black man use your mind to think

and build and work and secure your

future and your children's future.

Black you strong make

everyone else rich, I mean filthy

, but the sister's who helped you.

That goes for the football and the

basketball players who sometimes

makes things even

are we.

We sister's need your hep and

assistance from our Black man.

Picked your asses up when you

didn't have a car, fed you when

you were hungry as hell, brought

you clothes when you were wearing

the same pair of jeans for two

weeks. They stunk. Yes us /we

sister's are upset with you



                       TOLLEY (cont'd)
Black man Black man help us God

(laughs)Y'all yes you Black man

the nerve to be mad at us sister's

who got and education and a good

job and got it together. Yes we

are something and somebody. We

earned it and not without a fight

you hear me. Not without a fight.

Now Black man don't get me wrong I

love you and everything about you.

But some of them need to get a

handle on life. Believe me me I, I

know things ain't easy and I do

feel your pain.But lets not wallow

in it. And again who said, living

would be easy. Life is what you

make it. Sometimes people just

want the easy and lazy way out.

Believe me there is no easy way, I

really wish there were. Because I

would us the easy way out for

myself laughs)

(Turns and looks at all the women



                       TOLLEY (cont'd)

Now y'all lets be real about life.

There is no easy way out. And

sister's know that doing the right

thing isn't necessarily the best

thing. It's just better know what

I'm trying to say.


Yes, My Black man I am angry

and out with you. Because you

can do better and I expect the

best. You just look at where us

sister's have come from. We didn't

give up and we did give out or in.

Please Black man don't be mad at

me. I love you. I truly love you.

My daddy was a Black man and I

loved him dearly.

Nope, we ain't going to be quiet,

no we are not going to be still

and be silent, we are going to

raise our voices and we are going

to speak.


Right, I hear you. I feel you. Wow

that was so powerful.
      (fist balled up)
(Looking up towards the ceiling

She tells the women).

Hey do y'all know the meaning of

word CAN?

All of the women answer her back

saying yes, yes, yes yes we know

the meaning.

I want all of y'all to holler this

loud and clear. Yes we can.Yes I

can.I can.

Can everyone say the word can.

Holla, it loud and clear again.

Now lets all of us spell it

C A N.. Yes, that's it. That's

right. now how you you feel? Yes,

feeling alot of strength flowing

thru your body.

(all the women starting laughing

together)Now wait a minute we

ain't finish yet.

(Lets's say altogether)

Repeat after me.



Can yes,I can , yes I know I can.

now wait I've got something else

to say. I don't know which one of

you are religious and right now it

don't really matter, but this is

also a spiritual awakening. Didn't

they say now let me quote this now

let me think for a moment I want

to get this right.

(holds her head down for a

moment ) It says that you may

life and may have it

abundantly/according to your faith

be it done unto you, y'all here

me/done unto you. I Let's always

remember that I the words I can't

is the most futile words anyone

can use. Now what I say Can, yes

I believe we can make it.
Well that's alright, girlfriend I

hear you. I heard the words you

were speaking.


They say when your in the darkness

that's when you make decisions

that affect your life. They say

the darkness is intense.When you

are at your lowest ebb by yourself

that's when you do the most

thinking. Yes, that's it you begin

to pray. I went to talking to

myself and mumbling and grumbling

I said, what the hell is going on

with me?. I said, to myself I

ain't going out like that no way.

Not me.I began to feel all sweaty

and my hands felt clammy. I can't

live like this all these problems

are beating me down. Why was I

brought into this world God why? I

got quiet and then I heard a faint

voice talking into my left ear and

it said, you were surely brought

into this world for a reason and a

season. The voice is the darkness


                       ALLEY (cont'd)

told me that I was beautiful human

being and day after day the voice

continued to whisper power

inspirations and affirmations into

my ear. I begin to get my strength

back . My mind started to come

together. The voice said, don't

turn back keep going forward.

yesterday was yesterday and today

is today.I used to think the

darkness was a bad thin, but being

in that darkness that's where you

do your most critical thinking in

the stillness of the darkness.

When no one else is with you, but

god (higher power)The darkness

will make you pull yourself

together. While in the darkness

you must trust the creator because

that's all you've got.There is no

light in the darkness. Huh I never

thought of the darkness giving you

strength. I've always thought of


                       ALLEY (cont'd)

light giving you strength. So you

either give up or you get up. No

time for nervous breakdowns. Only

break through for me. I refuse to

let the enemy take my life from me

and make me invisible. I am

standing up and I am coming

through. Wearing my banner and all

the other stuff that goes with it.

I am moving through the darkness

back into the light.
Everyone will start huming, hum,


(then all of the women/one at a

time, but together will say) We

will not be silenced

We will not be silenced

We will not be silenced

Hum, hum, hum

maybe end up on the floor head

bowed/coming into the circle one

a time.



                       KIM (cont'd)

She died. She left us just like

that. She left us quicker than a

bolt of lightning could strike.

She left her children. She left

her grandmother. She left her

girlfriends. She left us so fast

we could barely catch our breath.

Devastated, yes we were.

Devastated you hear me. How could

God let this happen? How did it

happen? Why? We are so sad we are

helpless. She left us, because

she could not breathe. She was

choking you hear me she (everyone

begins to cry and moan)
How do we forgive ourselves? We

have done nothing wrong.
I forgive ourselves, You see

traditionally, women Black women

the help understand what I'm

talking about were subservient

human beings especially to the

male. They had you cooking and a


                       ALLEY (cont'd)

cleaning and having babies by the

Black and White men. When our

mother's came along they were

taught those same kind of

values/traditions and tried to

hand them down to us. Or they

tried anyway (laughs). We think

it's alright for a while. Until we

find out that times are a

changing. The new modern women

don't like doing all of things.

That We ain't no super woman. Then

we find out that traditions can be

broken. That we/us don't have to

do nothing none of that old

stuff.Yes I have to say we are the

new women. The new Black women.We

are the women who have broken all

that old tradition . Nope that my

lucky stars don't marry anyone,

anymore. That's ok if I want to

stay single.Today we have choices.

If I don't want children I don't

have to have children. It's my


                       ALLEY (cont'd)

choice not one else's.We the women

here, the women who are apart

of "Tolley's Place" have broken

those old valueless traditions

that has been holding us back.We

are the new breed.

Now don't get me wrong I love the

Black man, I truly do. But to be

his slave and master . It just

ain't going to happen. Nowadays

everyone needs to pull their own

weight. Sorry some of you men need

working on. It's it's just too

much work for me.

Now let me get back to choices.

perhaps in my mother's time and

your mother's time choice were not

an issue and things were done a

different way. I don't wanna knock

nobody because it's all good. It's

all good men, but the days of the

traditional women is over. This is

a new day for us women.I now know



                       ALLEY (cont'd)
that I have choices. (places hands

over heart)I am taking my spirit

back that the world stole from me.
      (stands up)
"Tolley's Place "is where you come

to mend a broken heart. "Tolley's

Place" is where you can come and

make a brand new start.

"Tolley's Place is where you come

to mend your broken heart. All of

you are welcome here. To being a

brand new start.
Phenomenal, phenomenal women, hey

remember that poem? It was written

by my sister Maya. Yes, phenomenal

women that's us

(points to all of the women)

individually) you have to be

phenomenal to survive in this

world. Us women have survived the

rapings, the incest, the men who

loved us and hated us all at the

same time. Somehow our character


                       ALLEY (cont'd)

has been flawed long before we get

to meet anyone we have been

damaged thru the media, society

and all of them folks. We have

been put down. It's like whenever

you do get a chance to meet

someone your character is already

been damage by misconceptions and

wrong information..

What I'd like to do ladies is to

get back my spirit that they stole

from me. (glances around the room

and holds her hand to her heart)
OK lets hit it.Now spell it C A

N . Yes that's right. now how do

you feel? Can you feel the

strength flowing through all of

our veins?

Yes, we can do it. Make our lives

better and more richer. Lets get

together and raise some money to

donate to "Tolley' Place" so women



                       KIM (cont'd)

will always have a place to come

share.It has been so enriching to

all of our lives. Yes we can sell

tickets and have a party. I know

it we can . We are great human

beings and part of the evolving

universe. This is truly a

spiritual journey with all of us

here together. Didn't God say

that . I think I can say it right.

I came that you may have it

abundantly. According to your

faith be it done unto you, hear

now. Done unto you. Charles

Fillmore said, words I will always

remember I can't are the most

futile words anyone can use.

We/us/you can. Faith is what you

believe in. You've got to have

faith.We are all worthy having a

descent life.
Wait a minute I've got something

to say also. Well, well don't

they say the truth will make you

free?I'm letting them know ain't


                       ALLEY (cont'd)

no stopping me now. I don't know

about y0u? (pointing the woman

individually). They ain't making

me quit, give up and go over in a

corner and die. I'm sorry it shall

not happen to this sister. Like

Malcom X said, by any means

nessary we shall survive. We are

going to make it . We can, hear

me? All of us women are great.

You've got to have faith.

Yes, indeed believe is the word.

Do I need to say more? (laughs)

Faith if you don't have it your

going down.I'll telling you. You

gotta hold on on don't let go. No

matter how hard the wind blows.

The wind is going to blow you to

to the left and it's going to the

blow you to the right. It's going

to knock you down. Be like the

Palm trees they blow to the left

and blow to the right, but the

roots never come up. They are

strong and flexable. You must get


                       ALLEY (cont'd)

back up. Life is going to try you

no doubt. Sometime it may even

knock you down to your knees. Life

is going to do that to you. So get

ready for it . Youv'e got to be

thick skinned and tough. Yes we

can, I can,and you can. I know it

I feel it of course you can you


Please all the ladies in the house

say yes, yes I believe I can make

Let me end with this. I'm just

speaking for myself. I'm not

running and I ain't hiding. I

ain't dying. I'm going to live.

I 'm going to stand for something.

I going to speak whatever is on my

mind. If people don't like it. Oh

well. I'm not giving in and nor am

I giving up. I'm going to keep my


                       TOLLEY (cont'd)

focus and stay in the flow of

life. I'm not going around

negative people so they can still

my joy. That goes for everyone in

my book don't matter what color

you are. Ignorance has no color

bountries. I also realize as a

Black woman I can not forget or

ignore the past. We do of course

have a million reasons to be

angry. We do have reasons to have

built up fears, but there is

absolutely no reason for us/me to

remain in that state of mind. This

is what I'm going to continue to

do. I am moving forward not

worrying about what happened in

the pass it's over done.

They want you to fall. If you fall

so what, get back up and get into

the race..

(all the women stand up and

holding hands hands and say

together )


                       TOLLEY (cont'd)

Freedom Freedom I am finally
Wait one minute I know something

that we can do . We can have a

fundraiser to help Miss Tolley

keep this wonderful place open. We

can have it right here .Looks like

enough room to me. We can sale

tickets, get some donations. All

of us pulling together should be

able to raise enough money to pay

up the back taxes. So us women

will always have a safe place to

Yes by all means that sounds like

a winner. We can do that . Lets go

have it right here it's big

enough. We can serve some food,

drinks and have some music and

dancing. Lets get all the women to

committ to sell a certain amount

of tickets. Yes we can do it.

It's going to take lots of hard


                       ALLEY (cont'd)

work ladies, but of course we are

used to it aren't we.

(All the women)

Yes, yes of course we are.

Ok lets start right now planning

it. Now what do we need? We need

tickets,food a menu. Will it be a

bunch or will it be a dinner?

(pauses a minute)
walking back and forth on stage with tickets in their hands
      (several women on
       the stage)
Tickets, tickets for sale,

save "Tolley's Place" the place we

love. Save our haven. Tickets,

tickets for sale. Come on and buy

your tickets to the fundraiser. We

are giving a fundraiser for

"Tolley's Place" for the Black

women's house of refuge for us, a

safe haven. Won't you please buy a



                       ALLEY (cont'd)

ticket, as a matter of fact buy

two, bring someone with you.

Tickets, tickets for sale

fundraiser to save "Tolley Place."
Two of the women could be on stage talking to the

audience/walking back and forth facing audience. Selling

tickets. As they exit two more women can come out. The women

could be changing into their Black dresses/head raps which

be wore at the fundraiser. Then the man and the other women

comes out they will be the last ones selling the tickets.(

repeat) Tickets for sale, buy tickets for the fundraiser for

the women's house "Tolley's Place." (several times repeat.
four or five tables with 4 chairs/

white and black table cloths

white candles (large center pieces)
the woman here today would like to

thank each and everyone of you who

brought tickets or those who have

donated to our cause.I have to say


                       SPIRIT (cont'd)

that not only was this a

fundraiser for "Tolley's Place"it

has also been a spiritual journey

for me and so many other Black

women who needed guidance.

You see we went to the place,

because we were hurting inside. I

went to find out who I was and

where I stood.I was sad. I was

angry and I was unhappy.While

there I began to acknowledge and

share my own feelings with anger

it began to go away, and my

sadness turned into release thru

my tears. I was feeling so unhappy

not knowing that I was making my

own self unhappy. I had to learn

how to take control of my own

life.I was blaming everyone around

me for my unhappiness. How sad I

must have been all of those

years. Now, I truly want to thank

the heavens and the Gods for

saving me. You see I found me

there. I got up and went out and


                       SPIRIT (cont'd)

found me. I found happiness and I

feel so good. Thanks to everyone

we can keep "Tolley's Place open.

We raised enough money to paid in

full back taxes.
      (stands up in
       front of audience
       with a sign that
       says happiness)
(Speaks to Audience)

I've learned laughter thru sadness

and I learned contentment by

taking charge of my own life.
      (stands up and
       faces audience
       with a sign in
       her hand "love")
(speaks to the audience)

Since I visited "Tolley's Place"

I've learned to love myself. I now

know that loving oneself comes

from the inside out not the

outside you see I was waiting for

someone to love me.


All the women line up/ or make a circle on the front or

of the stage.

Together the women will say/

"Tolley's Place" is where you come to mend a broken

heart. "Tolley's Place" is where you come to make a brand

start. "Tolley's Place" ia where you come to mend a broken

heart.(curtain comes down)

the end..

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