Topics for Further Study

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Compare and contrast Wiletta in Trouble in Mind to Jackie ‘‘Moms’’ Mabley in Childress’s 1987 play Moms: A Praise Play for a Black Comedienne. Both characters are black actresses, though Moms was a real person. Discuss Childress’s depiction of their professional lives and the choices they made.

Research the social conditions surrounding African Americans in the United States in the mid- 1950s. How does Trouble in Mind reflect these conditions? How does Childress depict them within the play?

Explore the themes of Trouble in Mind via the song of the same name and Psalm 133.

Research the psychology of groups. How does your research explain the African-American actors’ struggle between presenting a united front and their infighting in Trouble in Mind?

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