Black Thunder: An Anthology of Contemporary African American Drama

Black Thunder: An Anthology of Contemporary African American Drama

by William B. Branch
     
 
This anthology of nine contemporary plays (all produced between 1975 and 1990) actively confronts the racial realities of American culture and celebrates the African American experience with originality and meaning. Playwrights include George C. Wolfe, Leslie Lee, Steve Carter, Amiri Baraka, P.J. Gibson, William Branch, Alexander Simmons, Ed Bullins, and August Wilson

Overview

This anthology of nine contemporary plays (all produced between 1975 and 1990) actively confronts the racial realities of American culture and celebrates the African American experience with originality and meaning. Playwrights include George C. Wolfe, Leslie Lee, Steve Carter, Amiri Baraka, P.J. Gibson, William Branch, Alexander Simmons, Ed Bullins, and August Wilson.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Given the ferment in black theater since 1975, the period covered by this nine-play anthology, the offerings here are disappointing. The opening and closing plays, George C. Wolfe's The Colored Museum and August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom , are by far the best works included, the former a coruscating attack on the cliches of black popular culture, the latter a taut examination of the dynamics of a group of black musicians in the late 1920s. What comes in between alternates between family melodramas derivative of O'Neill and Lorraine Hansberry (Steve Carter's Eden ; Leslie Lee's The First Breeze of Summer ) and failed avant-gardism redolent of the Off-Broadway of the early 1960s ( General Hag's Skeezag by Amiri Baraka and The Taking of Miss Janie by Ed Bullins). At their worst, several of the plays here offer casual anti-Semitism (the Baraka and, in a more guarded context, the Bullins) or vicious homophobia (P. J. Gibson's messy Long Time Since Yesterday ) . Playwright Branch's introduction begins promisingly, with an account of the first African American theater ventures, but quickly degenerates into a catalogue of titles and dates. (Feb.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780451628442
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/03/1992
Pages:
496
Product dimensions:
4.32(w) x 6.82(h) x 1.26(d)

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