Academic journal article The Journal of Pan African Studies (Online)

Prefiguring Postblackness: Cultural Memory, Drama and the African American Freedom Struggle of the 1960s

Academic journal article The Journal of Pan African Studies (Online)

Prefiguring Postblackness: Cultural Memory, Drama and the African American Freedom Struggle of the 1960s

Article excerpt

Davis, Carol Bunch. Prefiguring Postblackness: Cultural Memory, Drama and the African American Freedom Struggle of the 1960s. Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 2015, pp.224, 13 black & white illustrations, bibliography, index, ISBN: 1496802985.

This work explores the tensions between cultural memory of the African American freedom struggle and representations of African American identity staged in five plays between 1959 and 1969 during the civil rights era. Through close readings of the plays, their popular and African American print media reviews, and the cultural context in which they were produced, the author show how these representations complicate narrow ideas of blackness, which often limit the freedom struggle era to Martin Luther King's non-violent protest and cast Malcolm X's nationalism as undermining the civil rights movement's advances. Hence, these five plays strategically revise the rhetoric, representations, ideologies, and iconography of the African American freedom struggle, subverting its dominant narrative. …

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