August Wilson and Black Aesthetics

Overview

Offers new essays that address issues raised in Wilson's "The Ground on Which I Stand" speech. Essays and interviews range from examinations of the presence of Wilson's politics in his plays to the limitations of these politics on contemporary interpretations of Black aesthetics. Also included is Sybil Roberts' A Liberating Prayer: A Lovesong for Mumia, that, for several seasons, has played to sold out houses, but had not been published prior to the hardcover edition of this book. With an updated Introduction ...

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August Wilson and Black Aesthetics

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Overview

Offers new essays that address issues raised in Wilson's "The Ground on Which I Stand" speech. Essays and interviews range from examinations of the presence of Wilson's politics in his plays to the limitations of these politics on contemporary interpretations of Black aesthetics. Also included is Sybil Roberts' A Liberating Prayer: A Lovesong for Mumia, that, for several seasons, has played to sold out houses, but had not been published prior to the hardcover edition of this book. With an updated Introduction assessing Wilson's legacy following his death in 2005.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A cogent and timely reminder of the tacit assumptions and invisible inflections that critics and audiences bring to theatrical experience. In this nuanced and richly variegated collection of perspectives on Wilson’s importantly controversial ‘The Ground on Which I Stand’ speech, Williams and Shannon have produced a dynamic exploration of black aesthetics and contemporary theater, which provides a fitting tribute to Wilson’s memory and to his spirit.”—Alan Nadel, author of May All Your Fences Have Gates: Essays on the Drama of August Wilson and August Wilson, Completing the Twentieth-Century Cycle
 
“Registers the continuing significance of the playwright’s 1996 speech that shocked American theatre critics with its echoes of a 1960s Black Arts militancy. In addition to analysis of specific Wilson texts and his construction of black female characters, this lively collection includes two previously unpublished interviews, one with Charles Dutton, who played the male lead in three Wilson plays, and a second with Wilson himself in which he muses about projects he will pursue once the ten-play cycle is completed. Capping the volume is a play that demonstrates how Wilson’s spirituality and activism inspires a generation of younger black women playwrights.”—Sandra L. Richards, Professor, Northwestern University
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230113015
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 3/15/2011
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Dana A. Williams is Professor of African American Literature at Howard University. Sandra G. Shannon is Professor of African American and American Drama at Howard University.

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Table of Contents

Introduction—Dana A. Williams
Black Aesthetics as Theory, Art, and Ideology
The Development of African-American Dramatic Theory: W.E.B. DuBois to August Wilson - Hand to Hand!—Mikell Pinkney
• Rita Dove's Mother Love: Revising the Black Aesthetic through the Lens of Western Discourse—Tracey L. Walters
• The Ifa Paradigm: Reading the Spirit in Tina McElroy Ansa's Baby of the Family—Georgene Bess Montgomery
• Just 'Cause (or Just Cause): On August Wilson's Case for a Black Theater—by John V. White
Black Aesthetics and Interdisciplinary Black Arts
"Keeping It Real": August Wilson and Hip Hop—Harry J. Elam, Jr.
• Giving Voice and Vent to African American Culture: August Wilson's Black Aesthetics and Katherine Dunham's Fight for Cultural Ownership in Mambo— Dorothea Fischer-Hornung
• The Mumia Project: Theatre Activism at Howard University—Sybil J. Roberts
August Wilson's Plays and Black Aesthetics
Phantom Limbs Dancing Juba Rites in August Wilson's Joe Turbaner's Come and Gone and The Piano Lesson—Reggie Young
• Speaking of Voice and August Wilson's Women—Tara T. Green
• Using Black Rage to Elucidate African and African-American Identity in August Wilson's Joe Turbaner's Come and Gone—C. Patrick Tyndall
Current, Unpublished Interviews That Speak to Aesthetic Issues Raised in "The Ground on Which I Stand"
The Ground on Which He Stands: Charles S. Dutton on August Wilson—Yolanda Williams Page
• Interview with Wilson conducted by Sandra Shannon
• A Liberating Prayer: A Lovesong for Mumia—Sybil J. Roberts
• Afterword—Sandra G. Shannon

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