The short story is about a young African American boy who attempts on, at least, two separate occasions to win the role of Prince Charming in the school's annual play. Each attempt to win the part brings him heart break since the role is awarded to "yarrlers," light-skinned African Americans. After Sarah Williams, his unrequited love since kindergarten, wins the part of Sleeping Beauty, the narrator goes all out to win the role of Prince Charming. Despite his efforts, Leonardius Wright, a "yarrler," wins the role of Prince Charming, and he once again assumed the role of the Head Evil Fairy.
On the night of the production, all proceeds as planned except for two instances. In the second act of the play, Leonardius raps the narrator over the head with his sword. Although the act was not in the script, Miss LaPrade quiets the narrator by telling him that it was a nice little touch. The second incident occurs in the third act when the vanquishing of the Head Evil Fairy is to occur. Just as Leonardius begins to take his sword to dismiss the Evil Fairy, the narrator cut loose with a right to the chin. Initially, the audience sees the fist fight as a new addition to the play until it fails to relent. Peace is finally restored after the curtains are closed, and when they are raised fifteen minutes later, the play continues as planned.
The theme of colour-based divisions within the black community itself is integral to Ted Poston’s “The revolt of the evil fairies”. The common held belief at that time was that lighter-skinned people were superior to the darker ones as the former group was thought to have some white features such as straight hair and white complexion. As a consequence of all this, lighter-skinned people had more opportunities in life and received a more favourable treatment.
At first sight, the Revolt of the Evil Fairies seemed to have a simple plot about a school annual play. However, after further reading, I came to realize that this short story is highly ideologically invested. Through the context of the play we learn that the colour based divisions within the black community itself are deeply engrained. The author in not merely narrating, but instead he is trying to raise consciousness about the harsh reality of the most disadvantaged members of the black community. He does all this through the use of rich vocabulary, wording of meanings, cohesive devices and humour.