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date: 21 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This essay examines the history of the African American drama from 1822 to 1879. It provides evidence indicating the active theatrical self-definition of black writers and performers during the era of slavery and emancipation, and it highlights the liberatory impulse among persons of color in creating distinctive drama and theatre. This essay analyzes some of the most notable works of African American playwrights during this period, including William Brown’s The Drama of King Shotaway, William Wells Brown’s The Escape, and Pauline Hopkins’s Peculiar Sam.

Keywords: African American drama, black writers, slavery, emancipation, William Brown, The Drama of King Shotaway, William Wells Brown, The Escape, Pauline Hopkins, Peculiar Sam

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