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Prefiguring PostblacknessCultural Memory, Drama, and the African American Freedom Struggle of the 1960s$
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Carol Bunch Davis

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781496802989

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2017

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496802989.001.0001

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date: 20 July 2018

Gathering Black Subjectivities and Cultural Memory in Alice Childress’s Wine in the Wilderness

Gathering Black Subjectivities and Cultural Memory in Alice Childress’s Wine in the Wilderness

Chapter:
(p.104) Chapter Four Gathering Black Subjectivities and Cultural Memory in Alice Childress’s Wine in the Wilderness
Source:
Prefiguring Postblackness
Author(s):

Carol Bunch Davis

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496802989.003.0005

This chapter frames Alice Childress's 1969 teleplay Wine in the Wilderness, as a counternarrative to cultural memory's master narrative of the African American Freedom Struggle era. Childress explores the intersections of class, race, and gender in Wine in the Wilderness's representations, situating the Harlem Civil Disturbance of 1965 during which the play takes place as a site enabling productive reflection on and reconsideration of the rhetorical and representational strategies underwriting some Black Arts cultural expression and, by extension, African American identity. The chapter argues that Wine in the Wilderness troubles blackness and disrupts the standard ideas associated with it, consequently creating a new meaning. The play's counternarrative constitutes black solidarity and black consciousness through its critique of the sometimes reductive gender and class ideologies underwriting certain strains of the Black Arts Movement's cultural production alongside an alternate history of black protest led by African American fraternal organizations.

Keywords:   class, Alice Childress, Wine in the Wilderness, cultural memory, African American Freedom Struggle, race, gender, African American identity, blackness, Black Arts Movement

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