In Clybourne Park, Kenneth’s military footlocker, which contains all of his possessions and his suicide note, represents Kenneth himself, and Russ and Bev’s memories of him. As they leave their home and bury the trunk, Bev hopes they will also be able to bury their grief, which would allow them to move on with their lives. Kenneth’s footlocker appears both in the first and second act. In the first act, Russ prepares to bury the trunk, and in the second act, Dan (who is played by the same actor) excavates the trunk, and in doing so releases Kenneth’s spirit, who then appears onstage for the first time. More generally, the footlocker represents historical and institutional memory. Its burial and subsequent excavation help emphasize the suppression and resurfacing of racism in Clybourne Park, which is explicit in the first act in Karl and Jim’s opposition to the Younger family moving in, and more subtle in the second act in the conversations between the Kevin, Lena, Lindsey, and Steve.
The timeline below shows where the symbol Footlocker appears in Clybourne Park. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.