Black Theatre USA Revised and Expanded Edition, Vol. 1: Plays by African Americans From 1847 to Today

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James V. Hatch, Ted Shine
Simon and Schuster, Mar 1, 1996 - Drama - 916 pages
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This revised and expanded Black Theatre U.S.A. broadens its collection to fifty-one outstanding plays, enhancing its status as the most authoritative anthology of African American drama with 22 new selections. Building on the well-respected first edition published in 1974, this edition features previously unpublished works including In Dahomey, Liberty Deferred, and Star of Ethiopia, and the Department of Interior's infamous 1918 food pageant. Contemporary plays by women have been added - Robbie McCauley's Sally's Rape, Anna Deavere Smith's Fires in the Mirror, and Aishah Rahman's The Mojo and the Sayso, as well as the modern classics - Ntozake Shange's Colored Girls..., Adrienne Kennedy's Funnyhouse of a Negro, and Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun. The range of this collection extends from 1847 to 1992, including the great names in the African American pantheon of writers - Paul Laurence Dunbar, W. E. B. Du Bois, Angelina Grimke, Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, and James Baldwin. The chronology begins with William Wells Brown's The Escape: or, a Leap for Freedom, based on his own life as an escaped slave. Two expatriot authors, Ira Aldridge and Victor Sejour, provide glimpses of life in Europe, while at home, playwrights struggled with the issues of birth control, miscegenation, lynching, and migration. The book embraces both commercial successes such as George C. Wolfe's The Colored Museum, and Charles Fuller's A Soldier's Play, as well as lesser-known masterpieces - Ben Caldwell's The First Militant Preacher, Owen Dodson's The Confession Stone, and Ted Shine's Contribution. The stylistic range, too, runs the gamut of genre from the realism of Ted Ward,Lonne Elder III, and Ed Bullins to the surrealism of Marita Bonner and Aishah Rahman. Comedy is present in Abram Hill's On Strivers Row and Douglas Turner Ward's Day of Absence which mock the racism of both Blacks and Whites.
 

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Contents

THOSE WHO LEFT AND THOSE WHO STAYED
1
The Brown Overcoat Victor Sejour 1858
25
The Escape or A Leap for Freedom William Wells Brown 1858
35
YES WE
61
Star of Ethiopia W E B Du Bois 1912
86
WHY We Are AT War United States Food Administration 1918
92
EARLY PLAYS BY BLACK WOMEN
131
Mine Eyes Have Seen Alice DunbarNelson 1918
169
A Sunday Morning in the South Georgia Douglas Johnson 1925
231
CRUITER John Matheus 1926
238
OLD MAN PETE Randolph Edmonds 1934
246
FROM THE DEPRESSION
257
Dont You Want To Be Free? Langston Hughes 1937
266
Big White Fog Theodore Ward 1938
284
LEGEND AND HISTORY
325
Graven Images May Miller 1929
334

Aftermath Mary Burrill 1919
175
They That Sit in Darkness Mary Burrill 1919
182
For Unborn Children Myrtle Smith Livingston 1926
188
Undertow Eulalie Spence 1929
197
THE PURPLE FLOWER Marita Odette Occomy Bonner 1928
206
The Deacons Awakening Willis Richardson 1920
216
BALO Jean Toomer 1922
223
NATURAL MAN Theodore Browne 1937
342
A Soldiers Play Charles Fuller 1981
364
Liberty Deferred John D Silvera and Abram Hill 1938
394
Bibliographies
409
About the Editors
415
Copyright

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About the author (1996)

Hatch is a professor in the Graduate Theatre Program of the City University of New York.

Shine received his Ph.D. in theatre from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He currently teaches and directs in the Department of Music and Drama at A & M University, Prairie View, Texas.

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