The Redifinition of Blackness in African American Drama: Adrienne Kennedy's Funnyhouse of a Negro

Roják, Csilla
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In this thesis I investigate the position Adrienne Kennedy acquired with Funnyhouse of a Negro (first produced professionally in 1964) in the 1960s among the black playwrights whose intention was the justification of African American identity at the time. Now, at the beginning of the second decade of the twenty first century Funnyhouse is regarded as her masterpiece, a publicly and critically highly acclaimed play, however, at the time of its production it was received unfavorably by black communities and critics and was often misinterpreted by defenders of the Black Aesthetics and agents of the black protest literature since Kennedy was not the promoter of black power and pride in Funnyhouse. I argue that although at the time the play was written Kennedy was rejected from the literary canon because of her unconventional way of depicting black reality, she found her own voice to express her affinity to African American identity in Funnyhouse.
blackness, identity