Preaching the Blues: Black Feminist Performance in Lynching Plays examines several lynching plays to foreground black women’s performances as non-normative subjects who challenge white supremacist ideology.

Maisha S. Akbar re-maps the study of lynching drama by examining plays that are contingent upon race-based settings in black households versus white households. She also discusses performances of lynching plays at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the South and reviews lynching plays closely tied to black school campuses. By focusing on current examples and impacts of lynching plays in the public sphere, this book grounds this historical form of theatre in the present day with depth and relevance.

Of interest to scholars and students of both general Theatre and Performance Studies, and of African American Theatre and Drama, Preaching the Blues foregrounds the importance of black feminist artists in lynching culture and interdisciplinary scholarship.

chapter |18 pages


chapter Chapter 1|43 pages

A blueswoman matters

Black women's feminisms in anti-lynching plays

chapter Chapter 2|36 pages

"Saving White Face"

Examining anti-lynching plays set in white households

chapter Chapter 3|30 pages

Sketches from a black feminist professor's notebook

Staging lynching plays at a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in the South

chapter |4 pages

Epilogue – we call bullshit!