Dutchman and The Slave

Dutchman and The Slave Character List


A pretty white woman thirty years of age, she stares flirtatiously at Clay and then sits with him on the subway. She is a mysterious character possessing seemingly supernatural deductive powers, able to make frighteningly accurate deductions concerning Clay’s background and history. Lula is a temptress through and through: physically beautiful, she carries herself with a palpable confidence and is skilled in emotionally manipulating a person. Later on, it is revealed that, beneath all her beauty, she is a predator and possessive of racist beliefs; she mercilessly breaks down Clay’s perception of himself with her insults and insinuations, and then she dispatches him coldly with a knife through the heart.


An African-American man in his early twenties. He rides along with Lula in the subway car sitting near her. Well dressed, well groomed, and garbed in an expensive three-piece suit, he exudes confidence, responding to Lula’s advances with assurance and security, but he also becomes easily disconcerted by her. As the play proceeds, Lula systematically breaks down his veneer of self-assurance and control, revealing Clay to be a diffident character until he gets fed up with her abuse and fights back.

Train Conductor

An aged African-American man who only comes on stage at the end of the play. It is unclear if he knows what happened to Clay.


A liberal white woman once married to Walker, with whom she had two daughters. She left him due to his behavior when he was involved in the black liberation movement; subsequently, she married Easley, a liberal white man. She is profoundly disturbed by Walker showing up in her house and reminds him of how terrible he made her feel when they were married. She says that he hates white people and when he spoke of wanting to kill them, it upset her. She dies when an explosion rocks the house and knocks beams down on her.


A middle-aged black man once married to Grace and now the leader of the black liberation movement in his city. He is torn in multiple directions by ideas, his past, his inclination for poetry and other aspects of Western culture, his leadership role in the black liberation movement, and his awareness that he cannot be neutral in the face of injustice. He wants his daughters but ends up leaving them in the destroyed house; he kills Easley, and he tries to come to terms with his anguish over Grace, their failed marriage, and his role in the movement.


An arrogant, white, liberal professor, he married Grace after she left Walker. He tries to hold Walker accountable for his views and point out his hypocrisies, but he often evinces his own ignorance about black people's experiences. He tries to tackle Walker but, unfortunately, Walker shoots him and he dies.

Grace and Walker's daughters

Unseen on stage, they are killed at the end of the play when the house is destroyed.