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Germans and African AmericansTwo Centuries of Exchange$
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Larry A. Greene and Anke Ortlepp

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781604737844

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781604737844.001.0001

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A Raisin in the East

A Raisin in the East

African American Civil Rights Drama in GDR Scholarship and Theater Practice

(p.166) A Raisin in the East
Germans and African Americans

Astrid Haas

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter explores how race in America was depicted by the East German theater community and analyzes the internal racial policies of East Germany (the German Democratic Republic). It looks at the presentation of two classic African American dramas from the civil rights era, Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun (1959) and James Baldwin’s Blues for Mr. Charlie (1964). The chapter shows how the German Democratic Republic, in its official propaganda, portrayed the United States as the epicenter of political reaction, racism, and imperialist aggression, and also discusses the East German critiques of African American literature and drama protesting racial injustice in America.

Keywords:   race, America, theater, East Germany, civil rights, Mr. Charlie, racism, African American literature, drama

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