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Sistuhs in the Struggle: An Oral History of Black Arts Movement Theater and Performance
by La Donna Forsgren
Northwestern University Press, 2020
Paper: 978-0-8101-4256-5 | Cloth: 978-0-8101-4257-2 | eISBN: 978-0-8101-4258-9
Library of Congress Classification PN2270.A35F67 2020
Dewey Decimal Classification 792.08996073

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | TOC
ABOUT THIS BOOK

The first oral history to fully explore the contributions of black women intellectuals to the Black Arts Movement, Sistuhs in the Struggle reclaims a vital yet under-researched chapter in African American, women’s, and theater history. This groundbreaking study documents how black women theater artists and activists—many of whom worked behind the scenes as directors, designers, producers, stage managers, and artistic directors—disseminated the black aesthetic and emboldened their communities.


Drawing on nearly thirty original interviews with well-known artists such as Ntozake Shange and Sonia Sanchez as well as less-studied figures including distinguished lighting designer Shirley Prendergast, dancer and choreographer Halifu Osumare, and three-time Tony-nominated writer and composer Micki Grant, La Donna L. Forsgren centers black women’s cultural work as a crucial component of civil rights and black power activism. Sistuhs in the Struggle is an essential collection for theater scholars, historians, and students interested in learning how black women’s art and activism both advanced and critiqued the ethos of the Black Arts and Black Power movements.

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