Articles

Say Their Names: Drama of the Black Lives Matter Era

Author: Deborah R. Geis (DePauw University)

  • Say Their Names: Drama of the Black Lives Matter Era

    Articles

    Say Their Names: Drama of the Black Lives Matter Era

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Abstract

Three recent plays—Anna Deavere Smith's Notes from the Field, James Ijames' Kill Move Paradise, and Antoinette Nwandu's Pass Over—represent a new subgenre in African American theater thatmight be termed BLM (Black Lives Matter) Drama. Located at a crossroads between the past (especially the legacies of artists like Black Arts playwright LeRoi Jones [Amiri Baraka] and innovator Suzan-Lori Parks) and the present (in the wake of Freddie Gray, Eric Garner, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and many others), these works exemplify urgent political and aesthetic choices that foster activism. Among the techniques discussed in the close readings of these three works are their indictments of audience passivity, their calls to action by recording and remembrance, and their awareness of the multi-layered qualities of racial injustice.

Keywords: African American drama; Black Lives Matter movement; Anna Deavere Smith; James Ijames; Antoinette Nwandu

How to Cite:

Geis, D. R., (2022) “Say Their Names: Drama of the Black Lives Matter Era”, the Black Theatre Review 1(1), 71-80. doi: https://doi.org/10.2458/tbtr.4824

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Published on
24 Jul 2022
Peer Reviewed