The Roots of African American Drama: An Anthology of Early by James V. Hatch, Leo Hamalian, George C Wolfe, William Wells

By James V. Hatch, Leo Hamalian, George C Wolfe, William Wells Brown, Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins, Katherine D. Chapman Tillman, Mary Burrill, Jodie Edwards, Susie Edwards, Willis Richardson, Zora Neale Hurston, Joseph S. Mitchell, Shirley Graham, George A. To

While many traditionally major or attention-grabbing performs by way of white playwrights are simply present in anthologies, few through early African American writers are both available. certainly till the Nineteen Seventies, virtually none of those early performs may be located

outdoors of a library.

The Roots of African American Drama fills this hole. 5 of the 13 scripts incorporated right here have by no means been in print, and purely three

others are almost immediately to be had wherever. The performs characterize various styles-allegory, naturalism, realism, melodrama, musical comedy, and opera. 4 are complete length,

8 are one-acts, and one is a skit. Their matters comprise slavery, share-cropping, international struggle I, vaudeville, faith, and legend and mythology.

In making their decisions, the editors used numerous standards to insure every one play is dramatically sound and traditionally important.

additionally they sought for these scripts that have been unjustly consigned to obscurity. each one choice starts with headnotes that position it in its old and cultural context. Biographic details and a bibliography

of alternative performs stick with each one script, offering readers with additional assets for study.

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Additional resources for The Roots of African American Drama: An Anthology of Early Plays, 1858-1938

Sample text

Walker, a wicked world, and we ought all of us to have religion. Religion is a good thing to live by, and we all want it when we die. Yes, sir, when the great trumpet blows, we ought to be ready. And a man in your business of bujang and selling slaves needs religion more than anybody else, for it makes you treat your people as you should. Now, there is Mr. Haskins—he is a slave-trader, like yourself. Well, I converted him. Before he got religion, he was one of the worst men to his niggers I ever saw; his heart was as hard as stone.

WALKER: Can you eat your allowance? SAM: Yes, sir, when I can get it. WALKER: Get out on the floor and dance; I want to see if you are supple. SAM: I don't like to dance; I is got religion. WALKER: Oh, ho! you've got religion, have you? That's so much the better, I likes to deal in the gospel. I think he'll suit me. Now, mer gal, what's your name? SALLY: I is Big Sally, sir. WALKER: HOW old are you, Sally? SALLY: I don't know, sir; but I heard once dat I was born at sweet pertater diggin' time.

E. B. , and in Baltimore, including a production of The Chip Woman's Fortune. But this is not the beginning of the story. The Howard Players, the Lafayette Players, the Ethiopian Players, and the Peking Stock Company had all appeared before the 1920s. Although nothing in the past corresponds exactly to contemporary plays such as Melvin Van Peebles's Ain't Supposed to Die a Natural Death (1971), which holds up a hard-focus mirror to black people to view themselves, there were soft-focus mirrors such as Angelina Grimke's Rachel (1916), a drama of the middle class written in response to the racist film Birth of a Nation.

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