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Symbolism and the exposure of race relations in Amiri Baraka's "Dutchman"

Essay 2017 14 Pages

American Studies - Literature

Summary

Amiri Baraka was one of the main leaders of the Black Arts Movement and a successful playwright. His play Dutchman was first shown at the Cherry Lane Theatre in New York City in March, 1964 and won the “Village Voice” Obie award. It is an outstanding example of the teachings of this movement by using symbols for race relations and discrimination, which was still present around that time.

The focus of this term paper lies on the examination of these symbols as indicators of race relations in regard of the call for change induced by the Black Arts Movement. Therefore, the second chapter will approach Baraka's essay The Revolutionary Theatre and the theory of the formation of the Black Arts Movement. It was a call for violence, destruction and exposure of white suppression.

Furthermore, there will be a look at the historical context of this movement. The third chapter will involve an efficient examination of the symbols, which Baraka has included in his play Dutchman in order to expose race relations and racism, which were under the surface. This will be followed by an interpretation of the end of the play in regard to the Black Arts Movement and race relations displayed through symbols. Baraka wanted to motivate African-Americans with this play to stand up for themselves and to create their own identity and culture instead of assimilating into a white, racist society. It represents, without a doubt, a milestone in the fight for equal rights through art.

Details

Pages
14
Year
2017
ISBN (eBook)
9783668535985
ISBN (Book)
9783668535992
File size
506 KB
Language
English
Catalog Number
v373201
Institution / College
University of Mannheim
Grade
2,3
Tags
Amiri Baraka Black Arts Movement Dutchman discrimination race relations white suppression racism fight for equal rights African-Americans

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Title: Symbolism and the exposure of race relations in Amiri Baraka's "Dutchman"