Angels in America

by Tony Kushner

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Student Question

Provide an example of multiculturalism from Angels in America by Tony Kushner.

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This could be taken in a couple different approaches.  If one were sticking to the standard read of multiculturalism, I think that examining the character of Belize.  He speaks from a point of view that is both a person of color and homosexual in America.  Both vantage points are challenging, and Belize does not see his own identity as African- American trade off with him being gay.  In this, Kushner makes it clear that people can occupy different social valences, different "Continental principalities" and still exist for consciousness moves all of these towards an unknown end.  In branching out the understanding of "culture," I think that Kushner's focus on the gay community at the zenith of the AIDS fear could constitute as an example of "multiculturalism."  One of the reasons why the drama is a work of American History is because it fully addresses the issue of AIDS in the gay community.  There are not many works that do this and to examine one of the most horrific realities that emerges in the gay community, yet remains in relative silence around mainstream America until much later is a study in cultural understanding.

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