Drumbeats, Masks and Metaphors
Contemporary Afro-American Theatre
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Drumbeats, Masks and Metaphors by Genevieve Fabre
Book DescriptionContemporary Afro American theatre is an exciting spectacle of an emerging black identity during a period when blacks have come to the forefront of political activity in the United States. Genevieve Fabre brings us the vast and rich production of black drama since 1945, placing it in historical and cultural context as a platform for political statement. Two strains emerge: the militant theatre of protest, and the ethnic theatre of black experience.Militant theatre breaks free from dominant white traditions and seeks to mobilize members of the community into common action. Masks and metaphors assume their fullest meaning: when the white masks are torn off, black skins suddenly appear. At first a shout of anger and of challenge, the militant theatre later becomes an almost visionary world. The Pike of LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka rise like clenched fists. Among the other dramatists of militant theatre are Douglas Turner Ward, Ted Shine, Ben Caldwell, and Sonia Sanchez. We see their plays that examine relations between blacks and whites; stories of victims and rebels and traitors; and rituals of vengeance.In contrast to the didactic speech of the militant theatre, the theatre of experience develops out of a dialogue in the language of blacks about their own experience. It embraces the rituals of daily life: the liturgy of the black church, traditional music, and folklore. This theatre celebrates a vital culture existing outside the boundaries of the dominant society. We hear the voice of the blues and the rhetoric of religion, we see depictions of the family and the street world of the ghetto, as well as the time honored art of the trickster. James Baldwin, Ed Bullins, Melvin Van Peebles, and Edgar White are among the playwrights shown making extensive use of black cultural traditions.Fabre is the first to attempt such an ambitious assessment of contemporary black theatre, one that evaluates its development as well as individual authors, plays, and performances, and also defines the growth of a distinctive and thriving theatrical tradition."
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780674216785
(232mm x 152mm x 28mm)
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 1-Jul-1984
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Genevieve Fabre
Temples for Tomorrow, Paperback (March 2001)
Reconsiders the period - between two world wars - which confirmed the intuitions of W E B DuBois on the "colour line" and gave birth to the "American dilemma," later evoked by Gunnar Myrdal. This title attempts to assess Harlem's role as a "Black Mecca", as "site of intimate performance" of African American life.
History and Memory in African-American Culture, Paperback (December 1994)» View all books by Genevieve Fabre
The relation between history and memory has become an object of increasing attention among historians and literary critics. This volume offers a picture of the dynamic ways in which an African-American historical identity transmits itself through books, art, performance and oral histories.
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Author Biography - Genevieve Fabre
Genevieve Fabre is Professor at the University of Paris.
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