Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
"The Negro has had some part in American drama practically from its inception."1 Whatever else the Negro may contribute as a gift to this composite civilization, there is already the general recognition that his folk-music born of the pangs and sorrows of slavery, has made America and the world his eternal debtor. The same racial characteristics that are responsible for this music are destined to express themselves with similar excellences in the kindred art of drama.
The drama of Negro life is developing primarily because a native drama is in process of evolution. This, although it heralds the awakening of the dormant dramatic gifts of the Negro and has meant the phenomenal rise within a decade's span of a Negro drama and a possible Negro Theatre. For pioneering genii in the development of the native American drama such as Eugene O'Neill, Ridgely Torrence, and Paul Green, now see and recognize the dramatically undeveloped potentialities of Negro life and folk ways as a promising province of native idioms and source material in which a developing national drama can find distinctive new themes, characteristics, and typical situations, authentic atmosphere. "The growing number of successful and representative plays of this type form a valuable and significant contribution to the theatre of today, and open intriguing and fascinating possibilities for the theatre of tomorrow."2
1Locke - Plays of Negro Life. 2 Ibid
O. J. Baker
Prairie View State Normal and Industrial College
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Date of Digitization
John B Coleman Library
City of Publication
Wells, M. E. (1933). The Contribution of the Negro to the Drama. Retrieved from https://digitalcommons.pvamu.edu/pvamu-theses/215