Black Culture and the New Deal: The Quest for Civil Rights in the Roosevelt Era

By Lauren Rebecca Sklaroff | Go to book overview

chapter two
HOOKED ON CLASSICS

“Drama is culture, and the culture of the race portends its advancement,” John Silvera wrote in his foreword to a list of “representative plays” of the Federal Theatre Project’s (FTP) Negro Units, “a new era is dawning for the Negro artist.” For a black administrator such as Silvera, the Negro Units represented a space for cultivating new talent among black playwrights and performing socially relevant material. Silvera and others struggled to establish criteria for African American drama: “Is the play a competent piece of craftsmanship? Is the theme a possible situation? Would its presentation be acceptable by and for Negro audiences?”1 Several productions fit this description and indeed transformed the nature of theater in the 1930s, not only in their racially charged content, but also because most Americans had never attended a live production until that period.

Of the Negro Unit productions, the most popular and successful was the Swing Mikado (1938), a syncopated version of the classic Gilbert and Sullivan comedic operetta depicting romantic mishaps and political foils in nineteenth-century Japan.2 On 31 December 1938, the Chicago Defender proudly reported that the Swing Mikado had captivated Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes; although Ickes had initially planned to attend only half of the performance, the first number was compelling enough to keep him in his seat for the rest of the evening. For Ickes, the Swing Mikado exemplified his own progressive inclinations on racial matters, as he exclaimed: “No people … can consistently be suppressed on the basis of race, color or creed, when they persist in making cultural contributions of real importance and benefit.”3

Ickes’s condemnation of widespread inequality would not translate into an executive policy barring institutionalized racism. Still, the FTP’S Negro

-33-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Black Culture and the New Deal: The Quest for Civil Rights in the Roosevelt Era
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter One - Ambivalent Inclusion 15
  • Chapter Two - Hooked on Classics 33
  • Chapter Three - The Editor’s Dilemma 81
  • Chapter Four - Constructing G.I. Joe Louis 123
  • Chapter Five - Variety for the Servicemen 159
  • Chapter Six - Projecting Unity 193
  • Epilogue 241
  • Notes 253
  • Bibliography 287
  • Index 301
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 312

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    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.