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New Book: Performative Intergenerational Dialogues of a Black Quartet

Excited about this project which continues the work started in 1970 in "A Black Quartet" by Ben Caldwell, Ronald Milner, Ed Bullins, and Leroi Jones (Amiri Baraka). When it was released, "A Black Quartet" was considered the start of the theater arm of the Black Arts Movement. Our quartet is composed of Bryant Keith Alexander, Me, Durell Callier and Dominique C. Hill.

- Mary E. Weems

Performative Intergenerational Dialogues of a Black Quartet promotes the importance of intergenerational Black dialogue as a collaborative spirit-making across race, genders, sexualities, and cultures to bridge time and space.

The authors enter this dialogue in a crisis moment: a crisis moment at the confluence of a pandemic, the national political transition of leadership in the United States, the necessary rise of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color activism—in the face of the continued murders of unarmed Black and queer people by police. And as each author mourns the loss of loved ones who have left us through illness, the contiguity of time, or murder, we all hold tight to each other and to memory as an act of keeping them alive in our hearts and actions, remembrance as an act of resistance so that the circle will be unbroken. But they also come together in the spirit of hope, the hope that bleeds the borders between generations of Black teacher-artist-scholars, the hope that we find in each other’s joy and laughter, and the hope that comes when we hear both stories of struggle and strife and stories of celebration and smile that lead to possibilities and potentialities of our collective being and becoming—as a people.

So, the authors offer stories of witness, resistance, and gettin’ ovah, stories that serve as a road map from Black history and heritage to a Black futurity that is mythic and imagined but that can also be actualized and embodied, now. This book will be of interest to scholars, students, and activists in a wide range of disciplines across the social sciences and performance studies.


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