October 21, 2017

Saturday Open Thread: African American Playwrights

Amiri Baraka was born Everett LeRoi Jones in Newark, New Jersey, on October 7, 1934. His father, Colt LeRoy Jones, was a postal supervisor; Anna Lois Jones, his mother, was a social worker.  He attended Rutgers University for two years, then transferred to Howard University, where in 1954 he earned his BA in English. His increasing hostility toward and mistrust of white society was reflected in two plays, The Slave and The Toilet, both written in 1962. His reputation as a playwright was established with the production of Dutchman at the Cherry Lane Theatre in New York on March 24, 1964. The play subsequently won an Obie Award (for “best off-Broadway play”) and was made into a film.

In 1965, following the assassination of Malcolm X, Jones repudiated his former life and ended his marriage. He moved to Harlem, where he founded the Black Arts Repertory Theatre/School. The company, which produced plays that were often anti-white and intended for a black audience, dissolved in a few months. He moved back to Newark, and in 1967 he married poet Sylvia Robinson (now known as Amina Baraka). That year he also founded the Spirit House Players, which produced, among other works, two of Baraka’s plays against police brutality: Police and Arm Yrself or Harm Yrself.

In 1968, he co-edited Black Fire: An Anthology of Afro-American Writing with Larry Neal and his play Home on the Range was performed as a benefit for the Black Panther party. That same year he became a Muslim, changing his name to Imamu Amiri Baraka. (“Imamu” means “spiritual leader.”) He assumed leadership of his own black Muslim organization, Kawaida. From 1968 to 1975, Baraka was chairman of the Committee for Unified Newark, a black united front organization. In 1969, his Great Goodness of Life became part of the successful “Black Quartet” off-Broadway, and his play Slave Ship was widely reviewed.

In 1974 Baraka adopted a Marxist Leninist philosophy and dropped the spiritual title “Imamu.” In 1983, he and Amina Baraka edited Confirmation: An Anthology of African-American Women, which won an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation, and in 1987 they published The Music: Reflections on Jazz and Blues. The Autobiography of LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka was published in 1984.

Amiri Baraka’s numerous literary prizes and honors include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, the PEN/Faulkner Award, the Rockefeller Foundation Award for Drama, the Langston Hughes Award from the City College of New York, and a lifetime achievement award from the Before Columbus Foundation.

He taught poetry at the New School for Social Research in New York, literature at the University of Buffalo, and drama at Columbia University. He also taught at San Francisco State University, Yale University and George Washington University.

  • avd911

    I remember this period I was age 14 – 21. My whole family became immersed in the movement. Amiri Baraka was well read on my University of Michigan campus.

  • Miranda

    This nut is up tweeting shit he wouldn’t dare say to Merkel’s face

    • GOVCHRIS1988

      He’s a bitchass.

    • Kennymack1971

      She was sitting right by you. Why weren’t you popping this hot shit to her face? Dolt 45 is a bitch.

  • Miranda

    Imagine if John Kerry said some completely ridiculous shit like this.

    • Alma98

      I…I….I got nothing.

    • The Shy Lurker

      Shorter Tllerson: “What’s in it for me?”

    • Arrogant much?

  • Miranda

    Trump wants NBC to thank him for ‘The Apprentice’ profits with better coverage about him
    March 16, 2017

    In the flurry of news on his tax returns, his troubled healthcare plan and his suspicion that his phones were bugged, it was easy to miss one of President Trump’s most startling comments Wednesday night on Fox News.

    Trump was griping about the coverage he gets on every major television network except right-leaning Fox News, and he singled out NBC as a prime offender. After all the money that NBC made on his reality-TV franchise, Trump suggested, it owed him more favorable coverage of his presidency.

    “I made a fortune for NBC with ‘The Apprentice,’” he told Fox anchor Tucker Carlson. “I had a top show where they were doing horribly, and I had one of the most successful reality shows of all time. And I was on for 14 seasons. And you see what happened when I’m not on. You saw what happened to the show was a disaster. I was very good to NBC, and they are despicable — they’re despicable in their coverage.”

    What do NBC’s profits on “The Apprentice” have to do with the way its journalists cover Trump?

    Why would he see any relationship between the former and the latter?

    Should NBC show the president gratitude by shaping its reporting more to his liking?

    “It’s pretty astonishing, this idea of a quid pro quo,” said Suzanne Nossel, the executive director of PEN America, a group that seeks to protect free expression for writers around the world.

    Trump’s remarks, she said, were revealing about how he views the motives of TV networks and other major news outlets.

    more here: http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-trump-nbc-apprentice-media-20170316-story.html

    • Alma98


    • Kennymack1971

      What an assclown.

    • Imagine if PBO said this.

  • Miranda
    • GOVCHRIS1988

      No shit.

    • Kennymack1971

      Shut the front door.

    • 7thangel


      next they will will tell us, ‘water is wet’

  • lamh
  • MonieTalks

    Hey peeps! Church-jogging to this comment at Daily Kos. So many “woke” white progressives don’t get THIS:

    You’ve got cause and effect mixed up. It’s not that they became racist because they wrongly believe black people are taking their jobs; they wrongly believe that black people are taking their jobs because they’re racist.

    These people would have the same racial resentments even if there were full employment. They would always find some excuse to hate the people they want to hate.

    During the New Deal era, high employment and strong (white) unions coexisted with Jim Crow.

    While Jim Crow prevailed, white racists had no problem with government spending—since almost all of it went to whites only.

    But the instant LBJ started spending federal money on African-Americans, many white supporters of the New Deal turned against it, saying that the country couldn’t afford it. They became instant converts to austerity and deficit politics. What changed? Only the skin color of the people receiving the money.

    And that is the key to the Republican assault on the safety net: angry white America would rather nobody have free money than have to share free money with n**gers.

    If we had a 100% government job guarantee, voters like that woman would oppose it to the death. “You want me to work in the same office as a bunch of s**cs? Fuck that.” “This is just more affirmative action, you’re just gonna give all the good jobs to lazy n**gers and we’ll be frozen out.” “I don’t wanna take your charity, I don’t take handouts.” Etc.

    If there were no racism in America, we would already have a minimum income, 100% job guarantee, and free, government-funded health care, education, and housing.

    But since the 1960s, every attempt by the Democrats to improve the economic lot of Americans has run up against this implacable wall of bigotry. There are just too many people who are utterly opposed to government benefits if it means that someone “undeserving” gets them.

    The ACA was designed to coopt conservatives by incorporating Republican ideas. It was market-based, not a federal entitlement program. Every single feature of it was watered down as much as possible to dampen their opposition. And it didn’t matter. Not a single Republican voted for it and they spent seven years running against it, trying to tear it down.

    They hated it because a black president was giving free stuff to black people. Never mind that some of them benefited from it, that didn’t matter. Lazy, undeserving black and brown people were getting a handout—that’s all they saw.

    If we’re to have a progressive economic policy in America, we’re going to have to beat the racists first.


    • Miranda

      And you have this idiot commenter, katiec, still being obtuse and pretending it can all be resolved with some grand economic policy. SMDH.

    • Kennymack1971

      They can’t handle the truth.

    • PREACH!

    • rikyrah


  • MonieTalks

    Good morning rikyrah, everybody.

  • Alma98

    Morning everyone

    • crazycanuck1503

      Hey alma venus lost, boo hoo, but she took it to three sets and i like how she playing. IW can still suck eggs.

    • GreenLadyHere

      Good Saturday MornTin’– -alma98. :>)- – -https://media.giphy.com/media/brsEO1JayBVja/giphy.gif
      **BIG HUG** :>)— How R U/Weather?– -:>)

      B BLESSED♥ U♥/Mom♥/Family♥/DAUGHTER♥– -:>)

  • Miranda

    please karma…please come collect

    • Alma98

      He needs to be disbarred.

  • Miranda
    • Alma98
      • jziglar

        LOL! I saw that. The deplorable even tried to bring up Barack Obama but she got shut down. They can never defend Trump so they throw out something or lie about Obama or say something about Clinton. Lately all they do is bring up Obama to change the subject.

    • Alma98

      There’s a jackass in the TL that doesn’t know how the program works arguing with folks, smh.

    • Kennymack1971

      Life comes at you fast…

    • edp4bho

      Sad to say but she could miss a couple of meals, IMO.

      • We have Talenti in the Bad Lounge.

        • edp4bho

          Uh, I’m going back to clean my kitchen…it’s enough punishment for the day.

    • “…I was under the influence that he was going to help us.”


    • rikyrah

      Too bad. Not sad.

  • GreenLadyHere

    – –Good Saturday MornTin’- ALEXANDER2♥/POU FAM♥- –:>) **BIG HUG**- -:>) Aaaahhh— The FIERCE RESISTANT♥- -Mr. AMIRI BAKARA♥- — Brangin’ IT 2 The WORLD- – -In PLAYS annnd the WORD.–His Words R Sooo RELEVANT♥— :>)

    — — ☺https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUEu-pG1HWw

    – —FOUNDER:he founded the Black Arts Repertory Theatre/School.– – –he also founded the Spirit House Players, which produced, among other works, two of Baraka’s plays against police brutality: Police and Arm Yrself or Harm Yrself.– – –He assumed leadership of his own black Muslim organization, Kawaida.

    — –Thank U ALEXANDER2♥— 4 this Powerful Playwright- – annnd this Series.- – Very Inspirational.— :>)

    — -ENJOY♥— http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-nlzpjlIn9LQ/T0xqdyTmZjI/AAAAAAAABB0/yro1oAagb8A/s1600/breakfast.jpg


  • GreenLadyHere

    ALEXANDER2♥– – Aaahhh– –“Auntie Maxine Waters♥”– -Was On “CALL OUT annd FACTUAL- -Fire”- — 2-day.– -:>)

    – – — ☺https://twitter.com/amjoyshow/status/843122525970210816

    — -THANK U♥— 4 Your RESISTANCE♥– -:>)

  • goldenstar

    Hugo-Winning Author Nnedi Okorafor on How Whitewashing Once Came to Her Book Cover

    Ten years ago, Hugo Award-winning author Nnedi Okorafor was getting ready to publish her second novel. She was thrilled to share her latest work with the world, which envisioned an African country after an apocalypse, centered around a black protagonist. Then she saw her book’s cover.

    Okorafor recently took to Twitter to share an experience of whitewashing from her days as a new writer. Right before The Shadow Speaker was set to come out in 2007, she discovered that the publisher, Hyperion/Disney, had changed the ethnicity of the main character on the cover. It showed a white woman in the middle of an African desert, even though there were literally no white characters in the novel. Even worse, Okorafor didn’t get to see the cover until the advance copies had already been sent out and it was being featured on Amazon, as she revealed in an interview with io9.

    “How did I feel? Shock, a sinking feeling in my belly, fury, and ‘O-M-G, it’s happening. To me!’” Okorafor told io9. “I started writing science fiction because I wanted to see Africa in the future… This cover erased a lot of that in one stroke. Plus, it was a lie.”

    This isn’t a new phenomenon in Young Adult fiction. The public has recently been focused on whitewashing characters in movies, like Katara and Soka in The Last Airbender or Major in Ghost in the Shell, but whitewashing POC characters on the covers of YA books has been going on for years. In 2011, a peak year for YA fiction, writer Kate Hart did a detailed breakdown of representation on covers from that year… only 10% of them featured non-white characters. For example, Kelley Armstrong’s Darkness Rising trilogy featured a Native American protagonist, and The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa had an Asian lead, yet both books featured white women on the covers.

    Okorafor said she refused to allow her character to be whitewashed on the cover, and she worked with her agent to get the cover fixed. The publisher was gracious, albeit a little less-than-forthcoming about the problem. They said it was because there weren’t enough stock model photos of black women, though Okorafor doesn’t fully buy it. It took a few back and forths to get the cover to roughly represent the ethnicity of the protagonist (even if it inevitably failed to capture what she actually looked like, since her character was bald for most of the novel).

    The Shadow Speaker cover situation happened at a time when social media wasn’t nearly as pervasive, so Okorafor didn’t have as large a support system to increase awareness. In the following years, we’ve seen more novels changed due to both private and public outcry. The 2010 YA novel Liar had a black woman as its protagonist but originally featured a white woman on its cover; but much like The Shadow Speaker, the cover was fixed prior to publishing. In 2015, author Rick Riordan finally got Dutch and Russian publishers to stop whitewashing covers for his Kane Chronicles series, which stars a young biracial man.


  • GreenLadyHere

    Alma– – Chilly/Cloudy?– – ☺https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/ce/30/03/ce30039b9f9eb37787f5f3a620753829.gif

    ENJOY. :>)– –
    Annd This is 4 Mom♥- –https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/c3/21/a2/c321a2acdd4fe1249a4a27f430ba7fea.gif

    Take care of your sinuses.- — :>) Mine R actin’ up also. :>)

    – — Thank U 4 your KIND BLESSINGS♥ —Needed. :>)

  • GreenLadyHere


    – –☺https://twitter.com/kylegriffin1/status/843130228008456193

    4-Eva- – -UNQUALIFIED!!– —

  • GreenLadyHere

    ALEXANDER2♥- – – HAH!– – BIG COVER- — CALL OUT- – on – -“IT”!!

    – – ☺https://twitter.com/kylegriffin1/status/843083318291808256

    –LOL– –Maybe some of his minions will B convinced that they were – –USED annnd PLAYED– -annnnd. .

    – – –☺https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5QGkOGZubQ

  • GreenLadyHere

    ALEXANDER2♥- – HAH!- – –Flynn- -SINKS- – -Deeper annnd Deeper- -Into That “SWAMP!”– – —

    – — ☺https://twitter.com/kylegriffin1/status/843115804187148288

    K’MON KARMA!!- —

  • GreenLadyHere

    ALEXANDER2♥- — **Gentle Sigh**—A GENTLEMAN♥- — -annnd A SCHOLAR♥- – -Personified. . .— :>)

    – – –☺https://twitter.com/AnandWrites/status/842900661108965376

    – — WE Were- – – BLESSED♥ :>)

  • GreenLadyHere

    alma- — -My Pleasure– always. :>)

  • GreenLadyHere

    ALEXANDER2♥– -SAD NEWZ– –A TRIBUTE♥- – -In – -MEMORIAM♥– – –:>)

    – – -☺https://twitter.com/SistaToFunky/status/843112901313466368

    – – –☻https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xPiZVriD1o

    — —)

    — –Gotta “bounce”‘ — BHM Event. C Ya Soon..♥–:>)

    • The Shy Lurker

      RIP P-Nut.

    • Alma98


    • rikyrah


  • jziglar

    So you have people out here really upset because Chelsea Clinton wrote a book and is now on the board of Expedia? But yet these same people have no problem with Ivanka sitting in on meeting with world leaders and her and her brothers cashing in on the Trump presidency. These are the same people upset because Malia Obama who is a teenager is interning at the Weinstein Company. These idiots need to get a life and stop worrying about people doing better than them. If you have no problem with the Trumps grifting and taking endless vacations then STFU about what the former first families are doing.

    • edp4bho

      You know what, you know what…..F’em ! LOL. I’m still tripping on that video last night with the clock on the head….LOL !!

    • The Shy Lurker

      All day.

    • rikyrah


  • goldenstar

    Ya gotta go to Luvvie’s post to see the visuals. Wooo, Lord.

    Whose Monopoly Man Come to Life is This? Oh. Roger Stone Jr.

    Below is Roger Stone Jr., an advisor to Tang Tyrant and his troop of trifling twatwaffles that he considers an administration.

    Come to find out, he ain’t shit. As in, he’s a sexist and racist walking cartoon villain.

    And I’m pretty sure this man owns slaves. Not owned but OWNS. As in, today. There’s probably a plantation with his name on it and humans he considers property.

    This dude is still mad at Abraham Lincoln for the Gettysburg address.

    This man is still surly that Ben Franklin stole his kite that day he got electrocuted.

    This chap’s social security number is nil.

    How many times has this man died? Whose mind will he send to the sunken place so he can use their body?

    This guy will NEVER give up Park Place now that he built hotels on it.

    This is the dude behind the #FuckPaulReveresSnitchingAss tea party.

    This is the person they modeled Michigan J. Frog after. WB face ass.

    This chap still uses phrases like “that colored gal…” especially when he wants to show respect.

    Bruh still stocks his own homemade liquor, because he doesn’t remember the times of Prohibition fondly.

    This fellow owns a bag made of old carpet. Reconstruction #TBT.

    This man strategized with Scar to kill Mufasa. He suggested the stampede.

    This dude remembers fondly, the cartoons that featured the crow named Jim. He wonders when the world got so… sensitive.

    A saint who goes by @Spookperson went on an epic Twitter roast of this man, and burnt him to a crisp. It was after I stopped wheezing from laughing so damb hard, I had to add my own.

    As if that wasn’t enough, I shared homeboy’s pic on my Awesomely Luvvie FB page and LuvvNation let him HAVE IT some more.

    Bridgette: My first thought was, “I bet that plantation is somewhere between Park Place and Boardwalk.”


  • edp4bho

    We’re black all over the world….LOL !!

  • nellcote
  • nellcote
    • rikyrah


  • nellcote
    • rikyrah

      Uh huh

  • nellcote
  • nellcote
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  • nellcote
  • nellcote