Alice October Childress Overviews - Essay


(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Jeanne-Marie A. Miller (essay date June 1977)

SOURCE: "Images of Black Women in Plays by Black Playwrights," in CLA Journal, Vol. XX, No. 4, June, 1977, pp. 494-507.

[In the following excerpt, Miller discusses Childress's depiction of black women in her best-known plays.]

In 1933, in an essay entitled "Negro Character as Seen by White Authors," the brilliant scholar-critic Sterling A. Brown wrote that Blacks had met with as great injustice in the literature of America as they had in the life of their country. In American literature, then, including the drama, Blacks had been depicted most often as negative stereotypes: the contented slave, the...

(The entire section is 7431 words.)