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We Gotta Have It!

Theater/Dance Last Updated: Jul 13th, 2011 - 01:50:31

Pam Africa, advocate for convicted Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal, recently previewed a new play, “IN A DAUGHTER'S EYES,” which is based on Abu-Jamal’s story and playing in Philadelphia. Here is Africa’s letter about the play, which is described by the InterAct Theatre Company as “an intense and timely new drama inspired by the true story of Mumia Abu-Jamal, an activist and journalist convicted in the 1981 death of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner.”

Jun 3, 2011, 12:43

Life and Abortion
The strange, dark world envisioned by playwright Suzan-Lori Parks in “F***ing A” is shocking and draining.
By Carol Chastang

Jul 28, 2009, 18:21

Buppies On Stage
Characters in August Wilson's “Radio Golf” are breathing the rarefied air shared by those cynics whose success comes from knowing how to play the game.
By Carol Chastang

Jun 9, 2009, 12:33

A New Native Son
Ja-Ben Early and Farah Lawal in Native Son. Photo by Micah Hutz
A rare stage production of Native Son, based on Richard Wright's novel, crackles with energy, despite the hopelessness of the character's lives and the foreshadowing of doom.
By Carol Chastang

Apr 28, 2009, 11:17

Lessons From Ghosts
In "The Blue Door," a new play produced by The African Continuum Theater in Washington, D.C., a middle-aged math professor is haunted by ancestral ghosts.
By Carol Chastang

Apr 28, 2009, 11:03

'Stoop Stories' of Life
Dael Orlandersmith
In Dael Orlandersmith’s “Stoop Stories,” worn out steps in New York City become gathering places of culture and history.
By Carol Chastang

Mar 30, 2009, 11:13

Feeling Mighty Low
Photo by Jean Jacques Tiziou
In Low: Meditations Trilogy, at the Public Theatre in Manhattan, the performance artist Rha Goddess boldly explores mental illness, drug addiction and homelessness in the African American community.
By Astride Charles

Jan 14, 2008, 23:19

Journeys of the Black Body
Britain-based filmmaker Isaac Julien premiered his latest collaborative, multi-media venture with dancer Russell Maliphant this month at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. This visual piece, which included both dance and an audio-visual installation, is titled Cast No Shadow. By Astride Charles

Nov 20, 2007, 08:29

"Brewster Place" on Stage
A musical adaptation of Gloria Naylor's The Women of Brewster Place combines song, controversy and loss to tell a story about society's walls.
By Carol Chastang

Nov 8, 2007, 06:18

My Children! My Africa!
Athol Fugard’s “My Children! My Africa!” depicts the horrors of apartheid but also the beauty of South Africa.
By Carol Chastang

Oct 8, 2007, 16:25

Another Louisiana Jail
A theater revival of “A Lesson Before Dying,” Ernest J. Gaines’ acclaimed tale of racial injustice in a small Louisiana town, lends additional significance and timeliness to the original novel, set in the late 1940s. By Carol Chastang

Oct 1, 2007, 20:41

Slavery in Different Chords
"Margaret Garner,” a provocative new opera with libretto by Toni Morrison, turns to the true story of an ex-slave, on which Morrison's novel Beloved is based. By Astride V. Charles

Sep 21, 2007, 06:30

‘Stand Up Black Britain’
Gina Yashere
Picking up where Sade and Soul to Soul left off, “Stand Up Black Britain” provides a broader transcultural interaction and dialogue, obviously in reverse direction from the normal U.S. export mode. By Astride V. Charles

Sep 4, 2007, 09:14

Family Ties that Bind
A revival of the musical "Three Sistahs" explores family ties that break and bind. By Carol Chastang

Aug 8, 2007, 12:11

“Emergence-See!” in D.C.
Daniel Beaty
In the brilliant one-man play “Emergence-SEE!” now being performed by Daniel Beaty at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., a slave ship inexplicably rises in the New York Harbor, right in front of the Statue of Liberty. By Carol Chastang

Jul 19, 2007, 16:13

Serving Two Masters
August Wilson's "Radio Golf," the final piece in his 10-play cycle about African American life in the 20th century, wrestles with the complexities of being Black, upwardly mobile and, at the same time, racially conscious.
By William S. Gooch

Jun 28, 2007, 13:03

Remembering Fest Founder
Larry Leon Hamlin, who started the National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, died after a long-term illness. He was 58.

Jun 20, 2007, 00:33

Wilson’s ‘Gem’ of Faith
A DC production of August Wilson's "Gem of the Ocean" displays the richness of the African American community--the beauty of the language and the powerful traditions that ensured our survival. By Carol Chastang

Feb 23, 2007, 12:02

All About Mammy
In “The Mammy Project,” Michelle Matlock used film, mime, rap lyrics and historical references to explore the origins of the Black mammy.
By William S. Gooch, III

Feb 14, 2007, 19:47

Ailey—Old and New
For its 2006 New York season, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater favored its audience with a variety of Ailey classics. The mélange works included perennial favorites Revelations and Cry. By William S. Gooch, III.

Feb 14, 2007, 19:18

A New 'Raisin in the Sun'
The African Continuum Theatre Company in Washington, D.C. presents a fresh production of Lorraine Hansberry's classic, "A Raisin in the Sun."
By Carol Chastang

Dec 22, 2006, 14:08

Philadanco's N.Y. Triumph
Philadanco's Odara Jabali-Nash
For its 37th season at New York City’s Joyce Theater, Philadanco assembled a program that was riveting, sexy cool and thought provoking. By William S. Gooch, III

Nov 29, 2006, 12:31

"Hot Feet" Full of Energy
Even though there are missteps in “Hot Feet," the combination of Earth, Wind and Fire’s classic jams, breathtaking performances and explosive choreography by Maurice Hines make for an enjoyable evening on Broadway.
By William S. Gooch

Jul 21, 2006, 16:40

A Healing ‘Color Purple’
On Broadway, “The Color Purple” musical renews a focus on Black female abuse and empowerment. By Jamie Walker

Apr 7, 2006, 20:51

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We Gotta Have It
Order Esther Iverem’s We Gotta Have It: Twenty Years of Seeing Black at the Movies. 1986-2006. An essential overview of the “New Wave” in Black cinema—a complex, often surprising perspective on art, society, and history.  More than 400 reviews, plus essays and interviews from your favorite movie critic.

Early raves for We Gotta Have It:

"Esther Iverem brings a voice that is deft, insightful and good-humored to the subject of African American culture."
      --Tavis Smiley

"Esther Iverem… is, hands down, one the smartest cultural critics of her generation. This wonderful romp through the last two decades of black-subject films will have you visiting your local video store on the regular.  It’s one of those book we gotta have."
      --Robin D. G. Kelley

"The work of African American filmmakers continues to out pace critiques and commentary by African American film critics. Esther Iverem closes this gap.
      --Warrington Hudlin

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