African American Theatre: An Historical and Critical by Samuel A. Hay

By Samuel A. Hay

A landmark paintings within the research of Black theater and drama, African American Theatre deals the 1st complete background of a huge cultural phenomenon before too frequently ignored. during this fast paced research, Hay seeks out the origins of Black theater in social protest, as predicted by means of W.E.B. Dubois, and as a proper department of arts theater. Divided among those opposing forces--the activist and the artistic--Black theater, Hay argues, confronted conflicts of identification whose strains nonetheless hang-out the medium this present day. African American Theatre hence bargains a method of finding Black theater within the better context of yank theater and within the continuum of African American historical past from the 19th century to the present--and in doing so bargains a profile of dramatic expression formed and scarred by way of the forces of repression, of self-affirmation, and of subversion. Sweeping in scope, unique in strategy and provocatively written, this crucial publication mines the origins and impacts directing Black theater, whereas charting a path for its destiny survival.

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Extra info for African American Theatre: An Historical and Critical Analysis

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71 In assigning such introspection to the drama in 1925 Locke obviously had the writer Jean Toomer in mind. Not only had Locke seen early drafts of Toomer's Cane (1923), but he was Toomer's patron: He had published in The New Negro two sections from Cane, as well as two of Toomer's poems. " He instead pioneered in America the ideas of the French dramatist Alfred Jarry's absurdist movement of the late nineteenth century. Balo tells the story of a young man's search for himself and Jesus in a dying cotton field in Georgia.

The DuBois people struck back. Their Black Revolutionary plays killed off the kinds of characters featured in Flow plays. At least two of Bullins's "Back Street" - type characters, for example, died from a revolutionary's bullet in every single Black Revolutionary play. Trouble was clearly brewing. It was the New Inner Life versus Inner Life class that kept private the tensions between the two schools. Even Bullins, undoubtedly the most versatile of the Locke people, abandoned his periodical use of profane language and situations to consider What is life, and about what should it be?

Its story and motivation were vastly different from that of St. Louis Woman. Lillian Smith had written her tragic story of racial hate in Georgia as honestly as any author had ever put word to paper. Considerable as were its faults, it had an integrity and realism which were totally absent from St. Louis Woman. My enemies and critics, happy to find what they believed to be inconsistency between my attack on St. Louis Woman and my support of Strange Fruit, charged that Jane had been given the role only to silence criticism from me.

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