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A Beautiful Pageant

African American Theatre, Drama and Performance in the Harlem Renaissance

Authors: Krasner, D.

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About this book

The Harlem Renaissance was an unprecedented period of vitality in the American Arts. Defined as the years between 1910 and 1927, it was the time when Harlem came alive with theater, drama, sports, dance and politics. Looking at events as diverse as the prizefight between Jack Johnson and Jim 'White Hope' Jeffries, the choreography of Aida Walker and Ethel Waters, the writing of Zora Neale Hurston and the musicals of the period, Krasner paints a vibrant portrait of those years. This was the time when the residents of northern Manhattan were leading their downtown counterparts at the vanguard of artistic ferment while at the same time playing a pivotal role in the evolution of Black nationalism. This is a thrilling piece of work by an author who has been working towards this major opus for years now. It will become a classic that will stay on the American history and theater shelves for years to come.

About the authors

DAVID KRASNER is Director of Undergraduate Theater Studies at Yale University. His previous book Resistance, Parody, and Double Consciousness in African American Theater, 1895-1910 (SMP 1997) received the 1998 Errol Hill Award from the American Society for Theater Research.


'A densely detailed, consistently readable account of the Harlem Renaissance...Krasner's aim is far broader than a period of history in theatre, he deftly concentrates on 'specific events in order to sketch a larger picture' and alters people's way of thinking about the Harlem Renaissance.' - Publishers Weekley

'Krasner's arguments are persuasive and engaging.' - D.B. Wilmeth, Choice

'Densely detailed, consistently readable ... succinct and neatly incorporated background sketches along with intelligible and accessible references to theorists enrich the finer details.' - Publishers Weekly

'A timely, lively, essential book that advances African American performance studies while specifically bringing theatre, performance and drama into focus in the glory years of the Harlem Renaissance.' - Robert B Stepto, Yale University

'Breezy, witty,and intelligent look at a decade that brought us such memorable and groundbreaking shows.' - Library Journal

Buy this book

Hardcover $70.00
price for USA

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
A Beautiful Pageant
Book Subtitle
African American Theatre, Drama and Performance in the Harlem Renaissance
Palgrave Macmillan US
Copyright Holder
Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Nature America Inc.
Hardcover ISBN
Edition Number
Number of Pages
XII, 370

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