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African American Female Playwrites Essay

  • Submitted by: jillapple
  • on November 25, 2011
  • Category: Arts and Music
  • Length: 2,079 words

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Below is an essay on "African American Female Playwrites" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

African American Theater: Female Playwrights
The poet Paul Laurence Dunbar wrote about African American life in 1896, and he said, “African-American life as essentially theatrical because black people are forced to play roles. Because of slavery and its social and psychological legacies, we can’t voice our true feelings in public therefore we aren’t free to show our inner reality to the world.” This quote identifies the main thread of African American theater that runs through the early 19th century until present day. My interest with African American theater lies mainly in the past, because I believe if you don’t know where you came from then ignorance will blind you from the future. Women playwrights played an important role in developing African American theater, but unfortunately in the history of our country we were guilty of both racism and sexism. So these amazingly talented and gifted women went unrecognized until they turned to theater, which is more appealing to someone with a message because it allows a direct connection with society. Kathy A. Perkins writes in Black Female Playwrights: An Anthology of Plays that “black women playwrights of the pre-1950 era wrote more than 60 published plays, along with many unpublished scripts and could not make a living with playwriting.” The amazing women playwrights I have researched and chronicled however did just that. They expanded social and gender norms and rewrote the history of our country by inviting us into their internal identity struggles.
Georgia Douglas Johnson was born on September 10, 1886 in Atlanta, Georgia in the wake of the black emancipation. After graduating from Atlanta University she made her way to Washington D.C. where she lived for over 50 years, there she became one of the most well known women poets of the Harlem Renaissance. She became an active member of the D.C. community and would often have parties where literary and political figureheads would attend such as Langston Hughes, Zora...

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