Lost Plays of the Harlem Renaissance, 1920-1940 / Edition 1

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A valuable contribution to African American literary and theatrical scholarship, this volume is a compilation of sixteen plays written during the Harlem Renaissance, brought ... together for the first time and set in a historical context. Read more Show Less

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This compilation of sixteen plays written during the Harlem Renaissance brings together for the first time the works of Langston Hughes, George S. Schuyler,

Francis Hall Johnson, Shirley Graham, and others. In the introduction, James V. Hatch sets the plays in a historical context as he describes the challenges presented to artists by the political and social climate of the time. The topics of the plays cover the realm of the

human experience in styles as wide-ranging as poetry, farce, comedy, tragedy, social realism, and romance. Individual introductions to each play provide essential biographical background on the playwrights.

In the continuing rediscovery of writers and works from the Harlem Renaissance, Lost Plays of the Harlem Renaissance 1920-1940 serves as essential background for contemporary readers and is a valuable contribution to African American literary and theatrical scholarship.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Like Kathy Perkins's Black Female Playwrights: An Anthology of Plays Before 1950 (Indiana Univ., 1989) and Hatch and Hamalian's own The Roots of African American Drama: An Anthology of Early Plays, 1958-1938 (Wayne State Univ., 1991), this is one of several relatively recent works that help make long out-of-print or previously unpublished plays available to contemporary readers. Nine of the 16 plays in Hatch and Hamalian's new collection have not been published before. Playwrights range from the well known (Langston Hughes, George S. Schuyler) to the obscure (Ralf M. Coleman, Andrew M. Burris). Among the best of these plays are Schuyler's The Yellow Peril, Conrad Seiler's Darker Brother, Francis Hall Johnson's folk opera Run Little Chillun, and Shirley Graham's radio drama Track Thirteen. The editors provide a useful introduction, headnotes on each author, and a short bibliography. Of special interest is an appendix containing 20 key articles (written from 1919 to 1928) on black theater. Recommended for all collections interested in drama and/or African American literature.Louis J. Parascandola, Long Island Univ., Brooklyn Campus
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814325803
  • Publisher: Wayne State University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/1996
  • Series: African American Life Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 468
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Meet the Author

Leo Hamalian, a Ph.D. from Columbia University, is a professor of English at The City College of New York. He has written or edited more than one dozen volumes, including As Others See Us and In Search of

Eden, and is currently editor of Ararat.

James V. Hatch is a professor of English at the City University of New York. A Ph.D. from the University of Iowa, he edited Black Theatre in the U.S.A., 1847-1974 and Black

Playwrights, 1825-1977: An Annotated Bibliography.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 9
Joseph Seamon Cotter, Jr. 21
On the Fields of France (1920) 23
Willis Richardson 27
A Pillar of the Church (1929) 32
George S. Schuyler 45
The Yellow Peril (1925) 48
Alvira Hazzard 61
Mother Liked It (1928) 63
Joseph S. Mitchell 73
Son-Boy (1928) 76
Ralf M. Coleman 93
The Girl from Back Home (1929) 96
John Frederick Matheus 107
Black Damp (1929) 111
Andrew M. Burris 125
You Mus' Be Bo'n Ag'in (1930) 128
Mercedes Gilbert 201
Environment (1931) 203
Francis Hall Johnson 227
Run Little Chillun (1933) 230
Conrad Seiler 281
Darker Brother (1938) 285
Langston Hughes 331
Scarlet Sister Barry (1938) 335
Young Black Joe (1940) 338
The Organizer (1938) 342
The Em-Fuehrer Jones (1920) 358
Shirley Graham 363
Track Thirteen (1940) 368
Appendix Documents Relevant to the Lost Plays of the Harlem Renaissance 391
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