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Living with LynchingAfrican American Lynching Plays, Performance, and Citizenship, 1890-1930$
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Koritha Mitchell

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036491

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036491.001.0001

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Conclusion Documenting Black Performance

Conclusion Documenting Black Performance

Key Considerations

(p.193) Conclusion Documenting Black Performance
Living with Lynching

Koritha Mitchell

University of Illinois Press

This concluding chapter utilizes archival evidence to argue that scholars must rethink how we identify a powerful theatrical space. Trees, telephone poles, and bridges became stages upon which lynchings occurred, but mobs were not alone in repurposing the spaces over which they had control. African Americans redefined spaces (including their own living rooms) to accomplish identity-sustaining theatrical work. In such a racially charged climate, blacks could not use existing dramatic conventions or rely on American theater's aesthetic tendencies. They had to transform theatricality in the United States from a mode that solidified blacks' position as noncitizens to one that further asserted their right to citizenship.

Keywords:   theatrical space, black performance, archival evidence, dramatic conventions, theatricality, citizenship

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