Blues for Mister Charlie Essay

Blues for Mister Charlie Essay

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The play Blues for Mister Charlie, of James Baldwin was a successful theatrical play. It has been famous because of the plot’s capturing scheme and because of its playwrights clever ways of stating everyday issues in sharp and clever manner. According to Mark Blankenships, “some plays grapple with history; however some feel like history themselves.” Blues for Mister Charlie, a 1964 drama by James Baldwin, is a part of history replayed as clearly and vividly as possible. The play was inspired by the execution of Emmett Till, an African-American boy whose white attackers went free without prosecution; the powerful subject has been motivated by the documentary "The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till." Baldwin, however, takes a simple story and uses his playwriting style to make a great play. Noted by the New York Times, “James Baldwin has written a play with fires of fury in its belly, tears of anguish in its eyes and a roar of protest in its throat.” In this award-winning play, Baldwin turns an execution and its aftermath into an investigation in which even the most narrow-minded whites are at awe --and in which even an assassin is looked at with empathy and compassion. The play has been criticized by many but it still made its way to fame.
When Blues for Mister Charlie, stormed into the ANTA Theater, the New York Times stated that it had a “loose structure and made valid points as if they were ordinary.” However, according to Yvette Hardie, a famous director, the play is “filled with liveliness and zeal. It is like a thunderous battle cry.” Many critics say that if you look at the entire picture of the play clearly, the play mirrors "Waiting for Lefty" of three decades ago, when Clifford Odets rallied labor to its rights. Blues f...


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Gluck, Victor. “Blues for Mr. Charlie (Theatrical Production).” New York: Backstage, 1964. Print.
Kinnamon, Keneth. "James Baldwin: Overview." Reference Guide to American Literature. Ed.
Jim Kamp. Detroit, 13 Aug. 1994. Web.
Lyne, Bill. "God's Black Revolutionary Mouth: James Baldwin's Black Radicalism." Science & Society 74.1 (2010): 12-36. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 1 June 2011.
Miller, Quentin D. "James Baldwin: Overview." Contemporary Popular Writers. Ed. Dave
Mote. Detroit, 3 May 1997. Web.
Taubman, Howard. “Theater: 'Blues for Mister Charlie.” New York Times. New York Times, 26 April 1964. Web. 1 June 2011.
Turner, Darwin T. "Visions of love and manliness in a blackening world: Dramas of Black life since 1953." Black Scholar 25.2 (1995): 2. MasterFILE Premier. EBSCO. Web. 1 June 2011.

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