Black Theater Alliance & some Broadway Productions that included African-Americans – December, 1977

Let’s try an appraisal, problem solving exercise.

Would some of you like to offer your wisdom on why there are so few African-American productions, or, productions including African-Americans? I remember very clearly, back-in-the-day, criticism of Routes‘ coverage of only leisure type activities. What I realize now is that Routes capture a snap shot of what NYC African-American theater companies (43), during the later 70s, were culturally communicating to their audiences. Little did we, at Routes, know that we were one of the griots of our time. Look at the list of productions African-American directors and actors offered. There is no doubt that they are unadulturatedly our stories. Or, am I wrong? I know there are plenty of you, silently reading Routes, who are qualified to comment on the 70s or today’s state of affairs. Share your inner soul views on how we can find those self-appraisal ways again. Or should we?

At later time, I would like to use the same technique analyzing how our music has turned away from meaningful comments on our social environment, love and love relationships, and the global popularity of jazz—to what most of us, reading Routes, don’t relate to: the language and messages found in Hip Hop. Or, should we care?


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