African American Theater: A Cultural Companion / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $19.32
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 22%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (12) from $19.32   
  • New (5) from $19.32   
  • Used (7) from $19.32   


Written in a clear, accessible, storytelling style, African American Theater will shine a bright new light on the culture which has historically nurtured and inspired Black Theater. Functioning as an interactive guide for students and teachers, African American Theater takes the reader on a journey to discover how social realities impacted the plays dramatists wrote and produced.

The journey begins in 1850 when most African people were enslaved in America. Along the way, cultural milestones such as Reconstruction, the Harlem Renaissance and the Black Freedom Movement are explored. The journey concludes with a discussion of how the past still plays out in the works of contemporary playwrights like August Wilson and Suzan-Lori Parks.

African American Theater moves unsung heroes like Robert Abbott and Jo Ann Gibson Robinson to the foreground, but does not neglect the race giants. For actors looking for material to perform, the book offers exercises to create new monologues and scenes. Rich with myths, history and first person accounts by ordinary people telling their extraordinary stories, African American Theater will entertain while it educates.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"If I had possessed Professor Dicker/sun's 'Companion' forty-oneyears ago, it would have saved me hundreds of research hours. Herbook answers all the questions my students asked about blacktheatre. In addition Dicker/sun challenges her readers withquestions she does not answer, 'Food for Thought.' All teachers andscholars of African American theater should own this book. It's aneducation."
James Hatch, City University New York

"Glenda Dicker/sun presents us with more than the history of theAfrican American Theater; she challenges us to join her in anongoing creative process of illuminating, recording andunderstanding 'ourstory' and 'yourstory'. She asks us to absorb theroles of our ancestors, to get a taste of their times, theirchoices, their fears and their joys. African American Theater: ACultural Companion strengthens one's sense of the individualand collective selves that currently perform one or more roles inthe perpetual drama that is humanity."
Charles OyamO Gordon, playwright

"With this volume Glenda Dicker/sun shares her great wealth ofartistic expertise and historical knowledge to inspire the creativeimpulse in readers of all ages. Drawing on the stories, plays,poetry, films, and music that reflect and enhance the history ofblack life in America, Dicker/sun provides a welcoming open spacefor each reader to insert his or her own performance into theongoing production."
Judith Stephens-Lorenz, Penn State University

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745634432
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 8/25/2008
  • Series: PCHL-Polity Cultural History of Literature Series, #2
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,543,366
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Glenda Dicker/sun is Professor of Theater and Head of African American Theater Minor at the University of Michigan.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Picture Credits vi

Acknowledgements vii

About this Book viii

Timeline of Significant Events x

Abbreviations xiv

Introduction: A Journey with the People who Forgot how to Fly1

1. The People who Could Fly: Slavery, Stereotypes, Minstrelsy,and Myth 6

2. A Leap for Freedom: The Anti-Slavery Movement 29

3. We are Climbing Jacob’s Ladder: Progressing andMigrating 57

4. The Harlem Renaissance: A Sunburst Something like SpiritualEmancipation 80

5. War Stories: Buffalo Soldiers, Black Bird Men, and the Bloods96

6. Sitting Down, Sitting In, and Standing Up: The Black FreedomMovement 113

7. Black is Beautiful: Protest and Performance 137

8. Conversations: A Second Generation Takes Center Stage 153

9. A Presence of Ancestry: I Believe I Can Fly 174

References 193

Index 202

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)