Not a Genuine Black Man

Not a Genuine Black Man

Not a Genuine Black Man

Written and performed by Brian Copeland
Developed by Brian Copeland and David Ford
Directed by David Ford
Special Presentation · Osher Studio
April 23–June 14, 2014

Running time: about 2 hours, including one intermission

“In 1972, The National Committee Against Discrimination in Housing called San Leandro, California a ‘racist bastion of white supremacy.’ Fair Housing advocates considered it one of the most racist suburbs in America. The U.S. Commission in Civil Rights conducted hearings. And then, we moved to town.” So begins Brian Copeland in Not a Genuine Black Man, the longest-running one-man show in San Francisco history—back for its 10th anniversary at Berkeley Rep! In a monologue that’s both entertaining and poignant, Brian explores how surroundings make us who we are. “Very funny,” raved the Chronicle. “Copeland is a winning, magnetic performer. More than that, he’s got an important tale to tell!”

Creative team

Brian Copeland · Writer
David Ford · Director
David Hines · Technical Director / Lighting Director
Victoria Hendrix · Light board programmer


Brian Copeland

“Personal, painful and often hilarious…Episodes of cruelty, humiliation, struggle and resilience punctuate the narrative, delivered most often with the innocence and bewilderment of a child, and generating laugh after laugh, before reflection…Copeland’s skill (and presumably that of collaborator/director David Ford) gives the narrative a seamless flow. It’s at once familiar and unique, funny and painful and poignant.”—Huffington Post

“Copeland has that special blend of comedy and drama; his show is amusing and ardent.”—SF Weekly

Watch now

Meet Brian

Spend a couple of minutes with Brian and hear about the inspiration for his show.

Introducing Not a Genuine Black Man

Check out this CBS-5 interview with the creator and performer of Not a Genuine Black Man.