Racial Tension In The Dutchman

899 Words4 Pages
Baraka, an advocate of Black culture and political power gives expression to violence, misogyny, homophobia and racism in his writings. His play Dutchman is in part responsible for the growth of a genre called Black Literature known as Black Arts Movement. In Dutchman, Baraka uses theatricality and dynamic characters as a metaphor to portray an honest representation of racist stereotypes in America through both physical and psychological acts of discrimination. An enigma of themes and racial conflicts are blatantly exemplified within the short duration of the play. My paper attempts to analyse how Baraka uses character traits, symbolism and metaphor to exhibit the legacy of racial tension in America.
KEYWORDS: Racism, Black Arts Movement,
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With the The Dutchman, Baraka opened the doors for the Black American writers to deal with a broad range of political, racial and social themes and it paved the way for the Black Revolutionary Theatre. The play The Dutchman revolutionised the Black theatrein post war America and illustrates the persistence of racial tension in the United States in the 1960’s and represents an emerging militant attitude on the part of American Blacks. “Dutchman” stands as an incisive critique of race relations through the sexually charged interaction of two characters Lula and Clay on a subway. The play presents the agonized and tensed life of a black man in a white dominated American society and it warns the blacks against the genocidal attitudes of the whites. There is Cultural-racial injustice lurking in the play and it stresses the conflict between two hostile visions of the blacks and the whites. The white culture is guilty of oppressing and exploiting the black minority. The Dutchman opens with a well-dressed, intellectual, young African American man named Clay in his twenties absorbed in reading a magazine. He represents
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