Synopses & Reviews
Sonia Sanchez is a prolific, award-winning poet and one of the most prominent writers in the Black Arts movement. This collection brings her plays together in one volume for the first time. Like her poetry, Sanchez’s plays voice her critique of the racism and sexism that she encountered as a young female writer in the black militant community in the late 1960s and early 1970s, her ongoing concern with the well-being of the black community, and her commitment to social justice. In addition to The Bronx Is Next (1968), Sister Son/ji (1969), Dirty Hearts (1971), Malcolm/Man Don’t Live Here No Mo (1972), and Uh, Uh; But How Do It Free Us? (1974), this collection includes the never-before-published dramas I’m Black When I’m Singing, I’m Blue When I Ain’t (1982) and 2 X 2 (2009), as well as three essays in which Sanchez reflects on her art and activism. Jacqueline Wood’s introduction illuminates Sanchez’s stagecraft in relation to her poetry and advocacy for social change, and the feminist dramatic voice in black revolutionary art.
“Poet Sonia Sanchez deserves a Nobel for her lyrical representation and advocacy of the universal black woman.”—Ed Bullins
“These seven plays by Sonia Sanchez form an emotional and historic bridge from the loud revolutionary power of the 1960s and the twentieth century to the more insidious and subtle challenges of this first decade of the twenty-first. Their power lies in their ability to present super/real snapshots of their time and circumstance with the mystic clarity that mixing poetry and drama can create. From The Bronx Is Next, where Brothers prepare to burn down Harlem tenements, to 2 X 2, where Beverly and Ramona Smith find one another, Sonia’s persistent call to Blacks—and especially to women—is to find the strength to assemble our ghosts and demons, confront them, and lay them to rest. The plays are startling and open us to a Sonia Sanchez whose vision can see the world as stage, or, perhaps, stage as the world.”—Charles Fuller
“Sonia Sanchez remains one of the most read, respected, and visible figures of the Black Arts Movement, as well as its most significant female figure. This volume only adds to that legacy.”—Amiri Baraka
“Whether I encounter Sonia in poetry, prose, or drama, I am always struck by the fearlessness of her intellect, the effortless musicality of her language, and her commitment to putting these gifts—always—in service of the Struggle. I rejoice for those who, through this book, will encounter Sonia for the first time.”—Ruby Dee
A collection of Sonia Sanchez's plays along with a historicizing introduction and critical essays on Sanchez's work.
This collection brings together for the first time the plays of Sonia Sanchez, a prolific, award-winning poet and one of the most prominent writers in the Black Arts movement.
About the Author
Sonia Sanchez is a poet, playwright, and activist living in Philadelphia. Her many books of poetry include Shake Loose My Skin, Does Your House Have Lions?, Under a Soprano Sky, Homegirls and Handgrenades, We a BaddDDD People, and Homecoming. She is the recipient of numerous honors recognizing her writing and activism, among them a PEN Writers’ Award and an American Book Award, as well as the Community Service Award from the National Black Caucus of State Legislators and the Peace and Freedom Award from the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.
Jacqueline Wood is Associate Professor of African American Literature and the Interim Director of the African American Studies Program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.