Download PDF by Harry J. Elam: African American Performance and Theater History: A Critical

By Harry J. Elam

ISBN-10: 0195127242

ISBN-13: 9780195127249

African-American functionality and Theatre heritage is an anthology of serious writings that explores the intersections of race, theater, and function in the US. Assembled by means of revered students in black theater and composed of essays from said specialists within the box (Joseph Roach and Henry Louis Gates, Jr. between other), this quantity is geared up into 4 sections consultant of the methods black theater, drama, and function prior and current have interaction and enact non-stop social, cultural, and political dialogues. the idea in the back of the e-book is that interpreting African-American theater and function traditions bargains perception into how race has operated and keeps to function in American society. the one one-volume number of its style, this quantity is probably going to turn into the important reference for these learning black theater.

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Stage adaptations of Uncle Tom’s Cabin were some of the first plays that popularized this type of heroine. They included the story of the fair-skinned Eliza and George Harris, as well as the tragedies of Cassy and Emmeline. Of the three different types of black female characters that Stowe presents, the tragic mulatto figures were the most intelligent and the most sympathetic. Through these figures, she demonstrates the cost of slavery to the institution of motherhood. 22 Although Stowe uses the term mother without qualification as though to indicate all slave mothers, in the novel she highlights the separation stories of only the fairer-skinned characters: Cassy, Eliza, Emmeline.

Eva first hugs and kisses her mother, who complains that she is ill; Eva then hurries into the arms of Mammy. Here, we see the elements of the mammy myth come into focus. This character, like Tom, served first the parent, Marie St. Clare, and then grew to love the child, Eva. Eva, like young George Shelby, understands the value of a loyal servant even when her mother does not. Marie complains that Mammy does not show proper devotion to her: If Mammy felt the interest in me she ought to, she’d wake easier—ofcourse she could.

This book affirms the power of theater to act as a cultural force within and as a social barometer of African American experiences. Analyzing African American performance traditions offers us insight into how blackness has been produced and even performed as the device of race is continually reconstructed and redefined within the theater. notes 1. Nineteenth-century theories of polygenism proposed that geographicalorigins and biological inheritance determined racial categories. Using pseudoscientific and biased methodology, authorities on “craniometry” claimed a clear relationship between the size of human skulls and the shape of human brains and, as a consequence, racial difference.

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African American Performance and Theater History: A Critical Reader by Harry J. Elam


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