In full support of the Black Lives Matter movement , I believe it's extremely important to read and study works by African-American playwrights about the black experience. I encourage everyone to grab a copy, listen, learn, and continue to educate others. Issues of class, race, parenting, and education in America are brought to the frontlines, as we are left to question the systematic structures that ultimately trap underserved communities. Only she and Lumumba are not dressed in white; she has a white fixation and wants to become whiter and whiter.
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10 Contemporary Black Playwrights You Should Know
Amiri Baraka nee Leroi Jones -- Baraka's angry, confrontational dramas set the tone for the more militant side of black politics in the s. His best-known plays include The Toilet , Baptism and Dutchman , which showed a trashy white woman verbally emasculating and then knifing an intellectual black man who struggles to embrace white middle class values. According to The Back Stage Theatre Guide, more black plays were written and staged since Dutchman than in the previous years of American black theatre history. Marxism also played a part in Baraka's politics, as evidenced by such play titles as What Was the Relationship of the Lone Ranger to the Means of Production? Lorraine Hansberry -- For nearly 40 years, her reputation has rested on Raisin in the Sun , a poignant work about a black family struggling to move into the middle class. Lately, her unfinished Les Blancs has also been making the regional rounds. Langston Hughes -- Best known as a poet, Hughes began his playwriting career with 's Mulatto and is best known these days for co-scripting Mule Bone with Zora Neale Hurston. He also penned the still-popular Black Nativity , the commercially succesful Simply Heavenly , and assisted on the lyrics of Kurt Weill's Street Scene. Most celebrated was the chilling drama Sleep Deprivation Chamber , with more surreal, poetic works like 's Funnyhouse of a Negro and the recent June and Jean in Concert earning mixed reactions. Lee told Crossroads spokesperson Ernie Johnston he still feels a strong kinship to the poor blacks of the south.
Black History Month Staff Picks: 6 Must-See Plays and Musicals That Share Black Stories
Whether the plays are doggedly realistic, bitingly satirical, or wildly expressionistic, the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library has on its shelves a variety of examples from this tradition that are well worth reading. A selective compendium follows. But Lorraine Hansberry was the first African-American woman to hit Broadway collaborating with Lloyd Richards, a black director , and the play she took there in has been enormously influential.
In honor of Black History Month , we are celebrating black excellence by highlighting some of the very best black artists producing and creating work today. Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. Named a MacArthur Genius in , Branden Jacobs-Jenkins is on his way to being a household name but has been well-known in Boston for some time now. His work is renowned for its dark humor, explosive surprises, and commentary on race in America. A Broadway actress turned playwright, Jocelyn Bioh is a daughter of Ghanaian immigrants who grew up in Washington Heights. Bioh starred in plays off-Broadway by notable African-American playwrights including some others on this list! Tarell Alvin McCraney.