Approaches to Teaching Baraka's Dutchman
First performed in 1964, Amiri Baraka's play about a charged encounter between a black man and a white woman still has the power to shock. The play, steeped in the racial issues of its time, continues to speak to racial violence and inequality today.
This volume offers strategies for guiding students through this short but challenging text. Part 1, "Materials," provides resources for biographical information, critical and literary backgrounds, and the play's early production history. The essays of part 2, "Approaches," address viewing and staging Dutchman theatrically in class. They help instructors ground the play artistically in the black arts movement, the beat generation, the theater of the absurd, pop music, and the blues. Background on civil rights, black power movements, the history of slavery, and Jim Crow laws helps contextualize the play politically and historically.
"Beyond providing insights into the play, its history, and its context, this inspiring volume gives tips on how to ease students into Baraka's drama. In short, it helps teachers both understand and teach this disturbing, influential, and great American play." —William J. Harris, University of Kansas
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