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Reading Contemporary African American Drama

Fragments of History, Fragments of Self

Series:

Trudier Harris and Jennifer Larson

Contemporary African American dramatists such as Amiri Baraka, James Baldwin, August Wilson, and Suzan-Lori Parks as well as Lorraine Hansberry, Alice Childress, and Pearl Cleage find their creative inspiration in historical events from slavery to the civil rights movement. From the Emmett Till-inspired character in Baldwin’s Blues for Mister Charlie to Parks’s recreation of Lincoln and Booth, these playwrights show that history is the mirror that shapes the identities of African American writers and characters.
The Editors: Trudier Harris is J. Carlyle Sitterson Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She received her Ph.D. in African American literature and folklore from The Ohio State University. Author and editor of more than twenty volumes, she is currently working on a book about African American writers and the South.
Jennifer Larson is concentrating on the works of Suzan-Lori Parks in her graduate studies in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She serves as the Coordinator of the Connected Learning Program at UNC’s James M. Johnston Center for Undergraduate Excellence.