African American Theater

1262 words, 6 pages

Intro Sample...


1. The minstrel show has a lasting and damaging effects on the images of African Americans, but does it, can it, also, and simultaneously, provide a foundation from which Black theatre has or can grow? Yes or no? Why or why not? Be specific, using cited quotations or paraphrases to make your argument. (350-400)
As Black theater begin in the 1800s, black artists were creating, staging, and performing for mixed audiences as described in, Black Nativity: Now it’s time (p.1). Theaters like The African Grove Theater in New York City showcased black theater detailing the story-telling, performance, dance, and music of their history (1). Blacks attempted to grow a foundation for black theatre, acting out their... View More »

Body Sample...


The Chitlin Circuit brought plays and other forms of entertainment to black audiences throughout the South and Midwest (Gates, 139). Racism was never an issue in black theatre at this time, and it became a production place for black actors, comics, and musicians to get their foot in the door and become recognized, within the black community. The Chitlin Circuit gave blacks entertaining scenarios of everyday life, along with remedies to fix them, and jokes to relieve the tension. Black audiences alike felt comfortable with themselves and allowed their issues to be detailed without the white critic listening and placing judgment.
As Gates also details, blacks were making more money now than ever before (142). A popular play in the Chitlin Circuit titled Beauty Shop made $800,000 a week (146), totaling $15-25 million dollars (142). An average ticket price for a well-liked actor averaged $27.50 and each audience was well over 2,000 viewers (142). The Chitlin Circuit allowed black entertainment to be self-sustaining, and transformed societies view on black actors in entertainment. Many of the men in the Chitlin Circuit took the role of business man, grouping together individuals and creating a management team for themselves, marketing their work and future endeavors, and maintaining popular representations of themselves for ticket sales (147). It expanded the market for black entertainment, and opened the door of possibility for black entertainers.
3. Explain the similarities and differences in the arguments made in Blaque’s “Imagining Our Degradation: An ...

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