Selected Plays

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Media Archive, United States on 2017-02-08 22:04Z by Steven

Selected Plays

Northwestern University Press
April 2011
272 pages
6 x 9
Trade Paper ISBN: 978-0-8101-2751-7

Alice Childress (1916—1994)

Edited by:

Kathy A. Perkins, Professor of Theatre
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

As the first African American woman to have a play professionally produced in New York City (Gold Through the Trees, in 1952) and the first woman to win an Obie for Best Play (for Trouble in Mind, in 1956), Alice Childress occupies an important but surprisingly under-recognized place in American drama. She herself rejected an emphasis on the pioneering aspects of her career, saying that “it’s almost like it’s an honor rather than a disgrace” and that she should “be the fiftieth and the thousandth by this point”—a remark that suggests the complexity and singularity of vision to be found in her plays. Childress worked as an actress before turning to playwriting in 1949, and she was a political activist all of her life.

Spanning the 1940s to the 1960s, the plays collected here are the ones Childress herself believed were her best, and offer a realistic portrait of the racial inequalities and social injustices that characterized these decades. Her plays often feature strong-willed female protagonists whose problems bring into harsh relief the restrictions faced by African American women. This is the first volume devoted exclusively to the work of a major playwright whose impact on the American theater was profound and lasting.

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Black Semitic Girl Reader At The Airport

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2017-02-08 21:14Z by Steven

Black Semitic Girl Reader At The Airport

2017-02-07, 21:00 PST (Local Time)

Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, Theoretical Astro|Physicist

Where books become bombs

Seattle International Airport—Just spent 20 minutes being physically searched at Seattle airport, body searched, and at one point being spoken to and surrounded by seven — yes seven — TSA agents while being informed my backpack had bomb making materials in it. A few thoughts:

  1. My bag was flagged at the X-ray machine because I had too many books in my bag.
  2. Then the chemical testing machine told them that there were bomb making materials in my bag. Remember, they were only looking because I had “too many” books
  3. Then a second machine told them that my 2014 model MacBook Pro had extra bomb making materials on it.
  4. They checked my hair, my breasts, and between my legs.
  5. Then they told me they would have to do it again…

Read the entire article here.

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Mixed race and proud: LA’s multi-heritage kids navigate their identity

Posted in Articles, Audio, Census/Demographics, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2017-02-08 21:03Z by Steven

Mixed race and proud: LA’s multi-heritage kids navigate their identity

89.3 KPCC Southern California Public Radio
Pasadena, California

Deepa Fernandes

Soleil Simone Haight loves saying all three of her names, running them together with sheer glee in her voice. She also proudly declares that she is five years old, that she has curly hair like her mommy, and that she is from Africa.

But when she announces that she’s from Africa, she often encounters a momentary look of confusion from listeners that might have something to do with her blonde hair and fair skin. Dealing with that confused look is one small part of what it means to be a young mixed race child.

On the other hand, this sparkly kindergartener who has a black and Native American mom and a white dad is not confused. When asked why people have different colored skin, her response is matter-of-fact: “Because that’s the way they’re made.”

One of the biggest demographic changes over the last few decades has been in the number of children under five who are mixed race. In 1970, just 1 percent of babies had parents of different races. Today, it’s 10 percent…

…“Navigating identity, having to balance, having to favor one over the other in certain circumstances, all those things are really difficult and our children are going to go through it and so we have to equip ourselves with the ability to deal with it,” said Nayani.

Both these families had a rare moment of public celebration this past August when the Dodgers honored mixed race families by dedicating a game to people of multi-heritage. It came after years of advocacy work by a group called Multi-Racial Americans of Southern California (MRASC) [MASC].

At the game, the mayor’s office presented an award to the group for it’s work. Sonia Smith-Kang, vice president of MRASC, said it was an important moment recognizing the movement’s “collective dedication to the multiracial community.”

While families are themselves organizing to bring attention, resources and recognition to the needs of their multi-heritage children, the early education world is not really helping.  Erika Frankenberg, a professor of education and demography at Penn State University, who authored a report on preschool segregation, said too often children go to preschool with children exactly like themselves…

Read the entire story here. Download the story (00:04:22) here.

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Lt. Stephen Atkins Swails

Posted in Articles, Biography, History, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2017-02-08 20:48Z by Steven

Lt. Stephen Atkins Swails

Kingstree News
Kingstree, South Carolina

Cassandra Williams Rush, Special to The News

Lt. Stephen Atkins Swails
Photo by Ronald Walton

Lt. Stephen Atkins Swails, an attorney, a member of the Electoral College, a member of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment, was the Mayor of Kingstree. He was born February 23, 1832 in the city of Columbia, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and died May 17, 1900 in the Kingstree.

Swails was biracial and born a free black whose complexion was so light he was often mistaken as white

Read the entire article here.

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Leyton playwright Lynette Linton’s play #Hashtag Lightie will be running at Arcola Theatre in Dalston

Posted in Articles, Arts, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2017-02-08 17:44Z by Steven

Leyton playwright Lynette Linton’s play #Hashtag Lightie will be running at Arcola Theatre in Dalston

Wimbledon Guardian

Rachel Russell

What does it mean to be mixed race in this day and age? That is the question being posed by Leyton writer Lynette Linton in her new play #Hashtag Lightie at the Arcola Theatre, in Dalston.

The story follows Ella, a mixed race 16-year-old who is popular and addicted to social media. Her Youtube channel gives make-up tips, opinions, and videos of her eccentric family. However, one of her videos goes viral and Ella finds herself in the centre of a social media storm that results in a family fallout and changes her perception of identity and beauty…

Read the entire article here.

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African Americans in Atlanta: Adrienne Herndon, an Uncommon Woman

Posted in Articles, Arts, History, Media Archive, Passing, United States, Women on 2017-02-08 16:53Z by Steven

African Americans in Atlanta: Adrienne Herndon, an Uncommon Woman

Southern Spaces: A Journal about Real and Imagined Spaces and Places of the US South and their Global Connections
DOI: 10.18737/M7XP4B

Carole Merritt

Portrait of Adrienne Herndon, date unknown. (c) The Herndon Home.


Ahead of her time and outside of her assigned place, Adrienne Herndon achieved acclaim in education, drama, and architecture in turn-of-the-century Atlanta. As head of the drama department at Atlanta University, as aspiring dramatic artist, as architect of what would be designated a National Historic Landmark, Adrienne Herndon set her own course in a society that rejected such independence in women. She was one of the most highly trained professional women in Atlanta, having graduated from Atlanta University normal school in preparation for teaching, and having received degrees from the Boston School of Expression and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York.

Adrienne Herndon (1869–1910)

“It is simply inevitable that I should end up on the stage,” Adrienne stated in 1904 just before her Boston debut as a dramatic reader. “The footlights have beckoned me since I was a little child and I simply must respond. It has always been my dream to portray all the heroic feminine characters of Shakespeare.” (Boston Traveler, January 25, 1904). From her childhood in Savannah, through her drama studies in Boston and New York, Adrienne held on to this dream of a career on the legitimate theater stage. The harsh realities of race and gender in America, however, doomed the realization of this dream. Except for vaudeville, minstrelsy, and all-Black dramatic productions, there was no place for Blacks on the American theater stage. As the daughter of light-skinned, slave-born house servants with considerable White ancestry, Adrienne’s skin was white. She identified herself as a Creole, a racially ambiguous term by which she was neither admitting nor denying her race.

Passing for White, she made her debut in Boston…

Read the entire article here.

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