Dec 9, 2011

Leftover Quote File, Race Edition

Apropos my thoughts on Stick Fly, I recalled this (unused) quote from Lynn Nottage, from when I talked to her about By the Way, Meet Vera Stark:
One of my constant frustrations is that there aren’t more critics and writers about theater who are people of color. I feel that if a black female critic comes to Vera Stark, she’s going to have a completely different experience. At some point it really hurts my feelings and bothers me that the arbiters of taste and the gateways to the public remain by and large white men, which means that our work is not going to be 100 percent understood, because they don’t bring the whole context.
To my knowledge, in New York there's just James Hannaham at the Voice and Hilton Als at The New Yorker. Can anyone name any others? And any female writers of color? Whatever happened to Margo Jefferson?

To clarify: I don't take Lynn's quote to be an essentialist throwdown; I don't think she's saying that black folks have a special insight into her work or an exclusive authority over its interpretation. But for those voices to be entirely absent from the dialogue is self-evidently a deficit.

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