NYU Black Renaissance Noire Fall 2013 - Page 75

One must query at this point, having endured what amounted to a character assassination, to what shrine might Ms. Hall have been bowing in her critique of the iconic Martin Luther King, Jr., demythologizing him at the altar of carnal desire aroused by an attractive, symbolic Death Angel, reducing the monumentality of his mortal sacrifice to Civil Rights to jes-ah-nuddahdawgish-Brutha sniffing around for conjugal gratification? An injunction against the interrogation of revered personalities and events is not what is at issue here. But to frame the interrogation in such a titillating, even deceitful, revision of that dreadful hour of mortal transition which was spiritually disruptive for most black Americans was unconscionable and could only be motivated by profit-in-themarketplace-by-any-means-necessary. As black life enters the new millennium with a growing consciousness of multiculturalism, it is not always clear what constitutes Black Theatre as an expressive manifestation of black cultural specificity. However much our collective culture may be deeply rooted in Africa, most millennial black dramatists and performers have begun to recognize and accept that the African American experience is not monolithic, nor otherwise the source of a single shrine they feel obliged to pay homage to in order to reveal diverse social realities. As a result, there has been a conspicuous disjuncture in the collective cultural vision, the authenticity of black cultural practices becoming vitiated, the manifest creative product losing its original power and integrity as a vehicle for transmission of encoded messages to challenge continued oppression in a hostile world. BLACK RENAISSANCE NOIRE It is difficult to mythologize the black experience beyond the popular narrative embraced by the dominant culture. Next to the parental dysfunction in precious and the implausible, near pornographic, carnal liaison between a white racist and an indigent black woman in monster’s ball, servitude is a very marketable theme for the entertainment industry, as made evident by the popular receptivity of black stars featured in films like gone with the wind, lincoln, django unchained, driving miss daisy, the help, and now, the butler. These characterizations of Negro subservience and obedience are not simply frivolous imaginings to instill in the minds, even hearts of African Americans a since of nobility, or even pride, but rather, they are calculated marketing subterfuges to maintain control over the black ???????)???????????????????????????)!??????????????????????????????)????????????????????????????????)?????????????????????????????????)????????????????????????????)?????????????????????????)???????????????????????????????)?????????????????????????????)??????????????? ?????????????)???-????!????e???????????????)????????????????????????????)????????????????????????????)??????????????????????????)????????????1?????9????((??()%???????????? ?????Q????????????)???????????????????????????????????)????????????????????????????)????????????Q??????????????????)??????????????????????????????)???????????????????????????)?????????????????????????????)???????????????Q???????!???????)???????????9????????????)?????????????????????? ???????????)=????????????? ???????????) ?????????????????????+?q?????????????????????????????)?????????????????????????)??????????????????????????????)???????????????????????????)???????????????????????????))???? ??????????? ??????A??????)??I??? ??????t?????e?????????)????????????????????????????????)????????????????????????????????)??????????Q?????????????P)??????????9???????????????)????????????????????????????)I??? ????????????????????????)????????????????????????????????)??????????????????????????????)????????????????????????????????)?????????????????????????????????)?????????????????????????????)?????1?????9??????????????????????)????????????????????????????)??????????????????????????????????????)?????????????????]??????????)?????????????????????????+?q???????????????????????????)???????t?Q??????????????!?????) ??????????????????????????????)???????????????????????????????+?q??????????????t??????????????)??????????????????????????)???????????????????????() I8?10????????????((????????????4((0