The Baraka play published with Dutchman is called The Slave. It is a fable loosely based on Baraka's former marriage to a white woman that exposes the latent racism of liberal whites. His 1969 play Slave Ship moves away from the traditional American dramatic structure to the pageantry of African drama. It portrays the total "sense" experience of coming to America on a slave ship.
Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man explores the emptiness of the assimilationist dream. The novel's protagonist discovers not only that his black skin makes him an invisible member of American society but that black leaders and educators actually encourage him to deny his heritage and make himself even more invisible.
Black feminist playwright Ntozake Shange expressed her debt to Baraka's innovations in language and social revolution in the new black theater. Her 1975 play, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf, portrays the plight of black women, doubly oppressed by whites and by black males, in a dramatic production that combines dance, music, poetry, and improvisation fused together into a new genre she calls the "choreopoem."
Randall Dudley's 1969 poem "Booker T. and W. E. B." describes the schism between assimilationist thought, represented by Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. DuBois, and more ambitious efforts to improve the status of blacks in America.
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