Language Editing Service. Marginality and social rejection are the most influential matters exploited by Baraka to intentionally criticize the American society. More often than not, these two matters have become the scenes of major or minor acts of humiliation and dehumanization that threaten to violate the ethical rules of living. This paper aims at investigating the impact of marginality and social rejection on a number of black characters in Baraka's Slave Ship who are brought to America to be sold as commodities. It is divided into two sections and conclusion.

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I wanted some kind of action literature. You look like you been trying to grow a beard. You look like you live in New Jersey with your parents and are trying to grow a beard. Laughs, uncrossing and recrossing her legs You look like death eating a soda cracker. We are also meant to understand that Baraka was indicting his own bohemianism here. The play is still a sensation. Projected across two panels blocking the stage are images from the New York subway system.

The houselights flash and then darken like the lights of a subway car. A tall elderly black conductor Paul Benjamin enters the theatre and walks down the aisle with a Bojangles-like strut and shuffle. The appropriately skeletal and realistic set is by Troy Hourie. On the platform just outside, a thirtyish white woman the phenomenal Jennifer Mudge walks by, spies Clay, and smiles knowingly. She enters the car slowly, casually, her hips and breasts moving to and fro in her light summer dress.

Her long gold-streaked brown hair is a tangle of Medusa curls. Clay pretends not to notice Lula as she bends over, rummages through her satchel, and pulls out an apple. But pretty soon there is no way for him to avoid looking at this urban Eve.

Nor can Lula resist the desire that she assumes she inspires. Sitting a little too close to Clay, she exchanges a few pleasantries before the dance of death begins.

C LAY : I saw you through the window. Seems to me you were staring through the window at me. Men die for freedom but black men die for white women, who are the symbol of freedom. Until the day I can have a white woman in my bed. I will still be a slave. Lula has whiteness—which is to say, power—on her side. One gets the sense that all he wants is to get by. Her performance is so profound an evocation of worldly disgust and self-disgust that one feels as if Hill were there merely to feed her the lines.

And, in some sense, it is. For Baraka uses Lula as a foil to call himself out: as one of the only black writers of the time who crossed over into the world of white hipness; as a black man who refused to apologize for his attraction to white women and homosexual culture.

For a time, Baraka had been a kind of blessed child. The world of the Greenwich Village avant-garde was his oyster. But, after a trip to Cuba in , he began to question his relationship to the white world that had helped foster his career. In , he put out an inflammatory poem about the origins of the September 11th attacks. Baraka has set out to remake the world each time he has remade himself. One simply wants to enter into the taut narrative of the play, to be an observer on that train to nowhere.

Many of us are still trying to figure out how he did it. Will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy. C LAY wheeling around and very much stiffened : What? At the last stop? C LAY : Staring at you? What do you mean?

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In Black and White

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Review: The Slave

The early works of Amiri Baraka and Luis Valdez reflect some of their aesthetic, social, political, and ideological convergences that coincided with the tumultuous period of social protest during the s and s. Both playwrights defined their social and artistic work by engaging with issues of race, ethnicity, justice, and nationalist aspirations for their respective groups at a critical juncture in American history. Their dramatic work during this influential period of black and Chicano theater was closely connected by their critique of social and economic conditions of marginalized members of their respective groups—blacks living in major urban cities and Chicano farm workers in California. Several scholars have discussed the aesthetic, cultural, and social significance of the works of Baraka and Valdez within their respective groups and the larger American theater tradition, [2] but only Harry Elam has studied their work comparatively. In his study Taking It to the Streets , Elam systematically explores their social protest theater by focusing on their points of convergence and similarities. Only in this way can we move beyond the potentially polarizing divisions of race and ethnicity.


Amiri Baraka

Baraka's career spanned nearly 50 years, and his themes range from black liberation to white racism. Some poems that are always associated with him are "The Music: Reflection on Jazz and Blues", "The Book of Monk", and "New Music, New Poetry", works that draw on topics from the worlds of society, music, and literature. In the African-American community, some compare Baraka to James Baldwin and recognize him as one of the most respected and most widely published black writers of his generation. His father Colt Leverette Jones worked as a postal supervisor and lift operator. He wanted to be just like Miles Davis. That gorgeous chilling sweet sound.

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