Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Killing in the name of struggle : Amiri Baraka's revolutionary theatre
Author: Kern, Douglas
ISNI:       0000 0004 5358 6236
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2014
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This study explores representations of murder, killing, and death in the revolutionary drama of Amiri Baraka. After a brief Introduction, Chapter 1 serves as a discussion of Baraka’s birth as an activist and provides background regarding the U.S. racial climate in the 1960s as it relates to his activism. Moreover, it presents Baraka’s Black Arts Repertory Theatre School and how it helped establish the Black Arts Movement. Chapter 2 provides a detailed study of Dutchman, Baraka’s first success, to initiate an analysis of killing and murder within his plays. In addition, it examines The Slave and Slave Ship, which present revolutionary models whereby Black Power is sought, and in the case of Slave Ship achieved through the killing of whites. Chapter 3 offers a detailed look at Baraka’s move towards Third World Marxism. After categorically denouncing Nationalism, Baraka’s public embrace of Marxism in 1974 isolated him from the Black theatre he had helped establish. Case studies examine representations of Capitalist killers in What Was the Relationship of the Lone Ranger to the Means of Production? and Song. Chapter 4 begins with a brief introduction to Baraka’s activism in the early 1990s, along with details of his son’s tragic shooting, and culminates with in-depth analyses of Jack Pot Melting: A Commercial, The Election Machine Warehouse, and General Hag’s Skeezag, all published in the ‘90s and performed together for the Nuyorican Poets Café Theater in 1996. Rather than depict onstage killing or murder, these plays present America’s threat of death. The study closes with an Afterword which discusses the continuing controversy which surrounds Baraka (including being stripped of the title of Poet Laureate of New Jersey for allegedly expressing anti-Semitic views in his poem ‘Somebody Blew Up America.’), as well as his influence on his son’s campaign for Mayor and other modern American playwrights.
Supervisor: Luckhurst, Mary Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available