Playlist:  Black Drama, Third Edition Top Used Titles of 2022 by Jodi Johnson

Black Drama, now in its third edition, contains the full text of more than 1,700 plays written from the mid-1800s to the present by more than 200 playwrights from North America, English-speaking Africa, the Caribbean, and other African diaspora countries. Many of the works are rare, hard to find, or out of print. More than 40 percent of the collection consists of previously unpublished plays by writers such as Langston Hughes, Ed Bullins, Willis Richardson, Amiri Baraka, Randolph Edmonds, Zora Neale Hurston, and many others.
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Duration / Pages
Date added
written by August Wilson, 1945-2005 (1983) (Alexander Street Press, originally published 1985), 104 page(s)  
Explores the complexities of family dynamics, race, and the pursuit of dreams in 1950s America, offering a profound portrayal of African American experiences and the enduring impact of systemic barriers.
22 Sep 2022
written by Lynn Nottage, 1964- (1993) (Alexander Street Press, originally published 1997), 11 page(s)  
A powerful and succinct play that confronts themes of domestic violence and women's empowerment, shedding light on the struggles and resilience of women trapped in abusive relationships.
22 Sep 2022
For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow Is Enuf
written by Ntozake Shange, 1948-2018 (1974) (Alexander Street Press, originally published 1975), 64 page(s)  
A groundbreaking choreopoem that celebrates the stories, struggles, and triumphs of Black women, addressing issues of identity, love, trauma, and self-discovery with lyrical beauty and raw honesty.
22 Sep 2022
written by Amiri Baraka, 1934-2014 (1964) (Alexander Street Press, originally published 1964), 38 page(s)  
A provocative and searing play that exposes the complexities of racial and sexual dynamics through a tense encounter between a Black man and a White woman on a subway, challenging societal norms and revealing the deeply rooted prejudices that persist.
22 Sep 2022
Funnyhouse of a Negro
written by Adrienne Kennedy, 1931- (1964) (Alexander Street Press, originally published 1964), 23 page(s)  
A poetic and surreal exploration of identity, self-image, and the psychological toll of racism on a young mixed-race woman, delving into themes of isolation, fragmentation, and the search for personal truth.
22 Sep 2022
Joe Turner's Come and Gone
written by August Wilson, 1945-2005 (1984) (Alexander Street Press, originally published 1988), 49 page(s)  
Captures the experiences of African Americans in the early 20th century, focusing on themes of migration, identity, and the quest for belonging, while addressing the legacy of slavery and the importance of community and cultural heritage.
22 Sep 2022
Intimate Apparel
written by Lynn Nottage, 1964- (2001) (Alexander Street Press), 109 page(s)  
Tells the story of Esther, an African American seamstress in early 20th century New York, exploring themes of love, race, class, and the constraints placed on women's lives, offering a nuanced portrayal of intersectional experiences and the pursuit of dreams.
22 Sep 2022
Trouble in Mind
written by Alice Childress, 1920-1994 (1955) (Alexander Street Press, originally published 1971)  
Examines racial dynamics within the theater industry during the 1950s, tackling issues of representation, power, and systemic racism, provoking discussions about the complexities of identity, artistic integrity, and the price of conformity.
22 Sep 2022
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