SETTING: Philadelphia. November 2012. 6:50 p.m. Lobby of the United Pan-African Building ("UPA").
• Junie, 27 years old Afro-Puerto Rican
• Amir, 23 years old African-American
• Paul, 69 years old African American
The UPA lobby. JUNIE leans against the wall, reading a newspaper. AMIR enters.
AMIR: Hey man.
JUNIE: What's up?
PAUL enters with a bag slung across his chest, papers poking out. He holds a small plant in one hand. JUNIE and AMIR exchange rough embraces with PAUL.
AMIR: Did you get my email?
PAUL: Yes, I did.
AMIR: Did you send the recommendation?
PAUL: Can I catch my breath?
AMIR: It's due tomorrow.
PAUL: There's nothing like planning ahead.
PAUL: Don't be sorry. I hate sorry people. Get yourself organized. Junie, I thought you were setting up. What're you doing out here?
AMIR: He's waiting for Leona.
JUNIE: How do you know what I'm waiting for? Leona is fine.
PAUL: I'm glad you made it.
JUNIE: Thanks for the invite man.
PAUL: Can you greet our guests? I'll be back.
JUNIE: What guests?
AMIR: Let go of the negativity.
JUNIE: I'm just sayin.' I set up 25 chairs. Last time we had 10 people.
AMIR: That was last time, my brother.
JUNIE: We got eight minutes. Even with CP time, there ain't gonna be no mad rush.
AMIR: Did you invite anyone?
JUNIE: Like who?
JUNIE: Why you worried about Shari?
AMIR: Brother you just got back with your lady. You're doggin' her already.
JUNIE: Shut the f**k up.
AMIR: Language. Look, I'm saying you're gonna raise a strong little man, right?
JUNIE: What're you talking about?
AMIR: You got to have a plan for your family.
JUNIE: I believe in Plan B.
AMIR: That morning after pill? I read that stuff is hard on the sisters' bodies.
AMIR: Birth control. Plan A should have been contraceptives. You have a little prince now.
JUNIE: Right. I got a baby. Not you.
PAUL returns without his bag and plant.
PAUL: Did you bring the water Amir?
AMIR: Oh man. I forgot to--
JUNIE: I got the water.
JUNIE takes a small water bottle out of his pocket.
JUNIE (CONT'D): Amir, how you gonna pour libations without water?
AMIR: I said I forgot.
JUNIE: You say lots of things 'my brother.'
PAUL: I hope you both got the Garvey handout.
AMIR: I did Brother Paul. It was very informational. Thank you.
JUNIE: I don't have a computer.
AMIR: Brother, SEPTA puts you two blocks from the Free Library.
JUNIE: Ain't nothin' free about takin' SEPTA anywhere.
PAUL: I have some extra handouts in my bag. You can grab one before we start.
PAUL: Garvey was the man. We wouldn't have the UPA without him.
JUNIE: I guess.
AMIR: You guess?
JUNIE: I'm just sayin'. Yo. The same time the motherf**ker is preachin' self-sufficiency and gettin' back to our African roots, he's wearin' sh*t that looks like he just came out of Buckingham Palace.
AMIR: Brother, with all the things Garvey did, is that all you can focus on? Besides getting close to Leona.
JUNIE: Shut the f**k up Leopold.
AMIR: Call me by my name.
PAUL shakes his head, looking at both of them. He holds up a hand in a 'stop' gesture.
JUNIE: Leopold is your name.
AMIR: My name is Leopold Amir--
AMIR: My parents named me after Leopold Senghor.
JUNIE: You want a medal?
PAUL: It doesn't matter what we call ourselves. We're here for a purpose. And raising consciousness is --
JUNIE: My folks named me after my Pop.
AMIR: What's your Pop's name?
JUNIE: Junie. I'll be back.
JUNIE quickly exits into the hall.
PAUL: Where's he going?
AMIR: To talk to Leona.
PAUL: Why're you looking like that? Is she your girl?
AMIR: No, but I thought --
PAUL: 'But you thought' you'd tell Junie what to do. Amir, you've got to focus on 'self'.
AMIR: I'm trying to help the brother raise a strong family.
PAUL: You should be trying to give me the address for that letter of recommendation.
AMIR: My bad.
AMIR pulls a piece of paper out of his pants pocket.
AMIR (CONT'D): Here it is.
PAUL: Why do you want to go there?
AMIR: Because they have a good program.
PAUL: Better than Clark-Atlanta?
AMIR: I don't know.
PAUL: What about Temple? You've got Asante and Monteiro. That brother, Coard is teaching the community about their legal rights -- for free. Did you know that Temple was the first program to give out a PhD in African American studies?
AMIR: Temple is trying to gut its African American studies program.
PAUL: I heard. That's all the more reason they need you.
AMIR: Harvard has money. U. Penn has money.
PAUL: Aside from money, what do those places have?
AMIR: I need a full ride. And Princeton has Cornel West.
AMIR: They've got Toni Morrison.
PAUL: Now you're studying creative writing? I thought you wanted to focus on history and philosophy, not literature.
AMIR: I do but --
JUNIE returns, smiling.
AMIR (CONT'D): You're finished sweating Leona?
JUNIE: I could kick your ass right now and not even break a sweat. You're a --
AMIR: I'm looking out for the black family.
They begin to exit into the meeting.
JUNIE: Your punk-ass ain't never gonna have a family because you can't get a woman.
AMIR: Brother, I'll let that insult slide because I know you're feeding into some repressed anger right now. You need to get with that sankofa, reflect on our history. Know where you came from.
JUNIE: I'm from North Philly.
AMIR: I'm telling you about our history. You need to look back to go forward.
JUNIE: I need to go forward. Period.
AMIR: Your spiritual balance is --
JUNIE: Good enough to shut you the f**k up.
PAUL: Let's get our heads together. I need you to help me pour libations.
JUNIE: I'll help you. I know you need water to pour libations, which is why I brought some.
AMIR: Shut the f**k up Junie.
Verbal sparring continues as they exit into the meeting and change the world.