Henry Louis Gates Jr. (review date 1991)
SOURCE: “Why the Mule Bone Debate Goes On,” in Critical Essays on Zora Neale Hurston, edited by Gloria L. Cronin, G. K. Hall & Co., 1998, pp. 225-28.
[In the following review, originally published in the New York Times on February 10, 1991, Gates considers Hurston's desire to portray authentic black culture in Mule Bone.]
Controversy over the play Mule Bone has existed ever since it was written by Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston in 1930. Not only did an authors' quarrel prevent the play from being produced, but its exclusive use of black folk vernacular has also provoked debate. In 1984, when the play became part of the...
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