African American Review

Founded in 1967, the African American Review is a quarterly journal published by St. Louis University, located in St. Louis, Mo. Its subject matter is literature and black publications. Its managing editor is Aileen Keenan.

Articles from Vol. 31, No. 4, Winter

A Huey P. Newton Story
Roger Guenveur Smith. Joseph Papp Public Theatre, New York City, Feb-Mar. 1997. The image forever burned into my psyche of Huey P. Newton in the late 1960s is that famous life-sized poster with him sitting poised in a wicker chair with a spear in...
Alliances across the Margins
The August Wilson/Robert Brustein debate held at the Town Hall in New York City in February, 1997, and moderated by Anna Deavere Smith, was a public performance of an old historic bind between the narrowly defined limits of legitimacy granted Black...
A Transplant That Did Not Take: August Wilson's Views on the Great Migration
On two occasions, I have witnessed playwright August Wilson stir his audience into an emotional frenzy simply by stating his views on the Great Migration. In September 1995, as a guest at a day-long series of forums at Howard University, and in April...
August Wilson's Call: Notes from Editors
In a speech delivered on June 26, 1996, to the 11th biennial Theatre Communications Group Conference at Princeton University, August Wilson, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner for Drama, issued the following call: "The time has come for Black playwrights,...
Black Theatre - the Way It Is: An Interview with Woodie King, Jr
Woodie King, Jr., was born in Alabama in 1937 and, from the age of 9, reared in Detroit. In Detroit, he co-founded Concept East Theatre in 1960 and began working in New York in 1964, where he quickly became the premier producer of Black theatre. He...
Bourbon at the Border
Pearl Cleage. Alliance Theatre, Atlanta, GA, 30 Apr.-15 June 1997. Dir. Kenny Leon. Set Design by Marjorie Bradley Kellog. Costume Design by Susan E. Mickey. Lighting Design by Ann G. Wrightson. Musical Direction and Composition by Dwight Andrews. Sound...
Culture Wars
On June 26, 1996, before a cross-section of America's theater community gathered in Princeton, N.J.'s McCarter Theatre, celebrated African-American playwright August Wilson courageously seized an opportunity: His intensely personal keynote address...
Developing Black Performing Arts Institutions: From a 1996 Video Interview
As the ETA Creative Arts Foundation is in the middle of our 25th Anniversary Year, I find myself being extremely reflective. If one comes to understand that a life has a destiny, and if one becomes conscious of her own experiences, then one can move...
Do Black Theatre Institutions Translate into Great Drama?
Helen Taylor, in reviewing Classic Plays from the Negro Ensemble Company, an anthology of ten NEC plays edited by Paul Carter Harrison and Gus Edwards,(1) observed that African American playwrights have not been so central to American literature as...
Escaping the Tar-and-Feather Future of African American Theatre
These brief remarks question which ropes might be used to hang African American theatre and how these ropes might be slipped. There is little doubt that a hanging dangles in the future of African American theatre. Hanging ropes have shaped the consciousness...
Generation Next, or the Future of Bad Hair: Text for a Film by Greg Tate and Arthur Jafa
Mama Tate says there are fifty black people in the world who know how to read and write, and they all know one another. Granddaddy Henry Grinner said no matter where you go in the world and no matter what you see, somewhere up in there you will find...
Muses
Gail Burton and Diane Beckett, Black Box Theater, Boston Center for the Arts in association with the Artists Foundation and Mojo Productions, Boston, MA, 5-22 June 1997. Dir. Kym Moore. Costume Design by Dale Patterson. Cast Sage Sidne Anderson...
Noise/Funk: Fo' Real Black Theatre on 'Da Great White Way
Son of Jim Crow, Grandson of Ole Massa, is alive, vicious, well, and busy making babies to ensure that his progeny will inherit his legacy of unearned privilege, arrogance, and domination. In balanced opposition to that culture of tyranny grew a defiant...
Non-Traditional Casting: An Open Letter
Dear Members of the American Theater Community, We can continue to publish articles and special editions of magazines and write books; continue to have panel discussions, symposia, Colloquial and conferences; continue to air radio and television...
Signifyin(g) Ritual: Subverting Stereotypes, Salvaging Icons
In recent decades, at least one groundbreaking work of black theater has caught fire, engendering a new genre and/or body of work. The 1950s yielded A Raisin in the Sun, the '60s Dutchman, the '70s for colored girls who have considered suicide/when...
'The Black Star Line': The De-Mystification of Marcus Garvey
In the American heartland, Chicago's esteemed Goodman Theater has mounted on its stage The Black Star Line, a play by Charles Smith which offers an overstuffed, untutored view of Marcus Garvey's Back-to-Africa Movement in the 1920s. It is, at best,...
The Challenge of Change
If you begin a journey on the wrong foot, you will end up in the wrong place. (African proverb) The More Things Change ...: Some History Probably the most meaningful statement I can make about Black Theater in New York in 1972 is that it survived....
The Colonization of Black Theatre
August Wilson's keynote address to the 1996 biennial conference of the Theatre Communications Group spawned a significant body of critical discourse and contention within the theatrical community and beyond. Among other sharp criticisms, he admonished...
The Crisis of Black Theatre Identity
We done sold Africa for the price of tomatoes. We done sold ourselves to the white man in order to be like him. Look at the way you dressed ... that ain't African. That's the white man. We trying to be just like him. We done sold who we are in order...
The Date
This play was originally written as a monologue for one woman. Experiments in subsequent productions have influenced the form in which it currently appears. Five women ranging in age from 22 to 50, varying in physical sizes, types, and characteristics--from...
The Motion of Herstory: Three Plays by Pearl Cleage
Pearl Cleage, highly regarded poet and essayist, first gained widespread recognition as a playwright with the production of puppetplay by the Negro Ensemble Company in 1983. The chronicle of a failed marriage, puppetplay expressed the divided consciousness...
The Musicality of Language: Redefining History in Suzan-Lori Parks's 'The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World.'
Henry Louis Gates, Jr., in his The Signifying Monkey. A Theory of African-American Literary Criticism (1988), states that the black vernacular tradition stands as a metaphoric signpost at the "liminal crossroads of culture contact and ensuing difference...
'The Old Settler' Is Far from Settled
The Intiman Theatre in Seattle, Washington, is celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary, and the fifth play presented as part of its Silver Anniversary was John Henry Redwood's The Old Settler, which previewed on October 25,1997, and ran between October...
The Re-Objectification and Re-Commodification of Saartjie Baartman in Suzan-Lori Parks's 'Venus.' (Khoi-San Native of South Africa Publicly Displayed as the Hottentot Venus in 1810 in London and Paris; Playwright)
In 1810, amid public sensation, scandal, and debate, Saartjie (pronounced, in Afrikaans, Sar-key) Baartman, a member of the Khoi-San (Khoikhoi and San) peoples of South Africa, was put on near-nude public display in London and Paris. Ironically and...

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.