By Langston Hughes, Leslie Catherine Sanders, Nancy Johnston
Yet sometime somebody'll get up and speak about me— Black and lovely— And sing approximately me. And wear performs approximately me! I reckon it will be Me myself! sure, it will likely be me. Langston Hughes is least identified for his theatrical endeavors, but his consciousness to the theater was once lifelong. His love of the level all started in adolescence, and from the overdue Twenties on he was once consistently writing performs, for black neighborhood theater, for theater businesses he tested himself, and for the Broadway and off-Broadway degree. His early performs recreation to supply "authentic" representations of African American lifestyles, either to counter and proper the stereotypical level portrayals of African americans in white theater and to supply compatible performs for black theater businesses hungry for scripts that will entertain and problem black audiences. quantity five of The accrued Works of Langston Hughes comprises the performs Hughes wrote among 1930 and 1942, on my own and in collaboration. just about all the performs have been played in the course of the related interval; a number of have by no means obvious the level, yet are incorporated simply because they point out the variety of Hughes's creative and political issues. simply because only a few of the performs during this quantity were formerly released, they reveal a facet of Langston Hughes's artistry that's nearly unknown. the gathering drastically expands our realizing of the Hughes legacy, and makes us reconsider the background of African American theater.
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Extra resources for The Plays to 1942: Mulatto to the Sun Do Move
ROBERT: (Quickly) And you’re their father. (Angrily) How come I look like you, if you’re not my father? NORWOOD: Don’t shout at me, boy, I can hear you. (Half smiling) How come your skin is yellow and your elbows rusty? How come they threw you out of the Post Ofﬁce today for talking to a white woman? How come you’re the crazy young nigger that you are? ROBERT: They had no right to throw me out. I asked for my money back when I saw the broken tubes. Just as you had no right to raise that cane today when I was standing at the door of this house where you live, while I have to sleep in a shack down the road with the ﬁeld hands.
I might stay here awhile and teach some o’ you darkies to think like men, maybe—till it gets too much for the old Colonel—but no more bowing down to white folks for me. CORA: Hush, son! ROBERT: Certainly not right on my own old man’s plantation—Georgia or no Georgia. WILLIAM: (Scornfully) I hears you. ROBERT: You can do it if you want to, but I’m ashamed of you. I’ve been away from here six years. (Boasting) I’ve learned something, seen people in Atlanta, and Richmond, and Washington where the football team went—real colored people who don’t have to take off their hats to white folks or let ’em go to bed with their sisters— like that young Higgins boy, asking me what night Sallie was comin’ to town.
Langston Hughes, The Big Sea (1940; New York: Hill and Wang, 1963), 258. This page intentionally left blank A Note on the Text “[S]ure, make any little corrections or changes you feel needful in the plays,” Hughes wrote to Webster Smalley, the editor of Five Plays by Langston Hughes. ”15 Judging from the papers in the James Weldon Johnson Collection in the Beinecke Library at Yale University, the repository of Hughes’s papers, and the source of the plays presented here, Hughes characteristically worked from an initial typed draft of a manuscript, making changes and then having the updated draft retyped.
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