In my view, one message of Amiri Baraka's play is that a person cannot be forced to change his identity or to adopt the view of himself others attempt to impose upon him. There is also a corollary theme of rejecting vengeance as a solution to oppression.
In the dialogue in the subway car between Clay and Lula, Lula attempts to manipulate Clay into behaving in the stereotyped manner bigoted whites expect of African Americans. Though in some sense he is attracted to her, he is also justifiably infuriated by her taunts, which brings out the disgust he has with white society and the manner in which African Americans have been treated. But the crucial point is that he refuses to embrace the idea of revenge against the whites.
This last point represents a kind of salvation for Clay. He is an incarnation of the "Dutchman " of legend condemned to wander until saved by a woman, though in Baraka's version the story is presented in an inverted form, in which the woman kills him. But in his final...
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