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The Motion of History and other plays by Amiri Baraka (Leroi Jones)

The Motion of History and other plays by Amiri Baraka (Leroi Jones)


New York : William Morrow and Company, 1978. First Edition. Stated with full numbers line. Hardcover. 225 pages ; 22 cm. $8.95 dust jacket with minimal wear. Binding is tight, pages are clean and unmarked.

The Motion of History & Other Plays
Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Janes)
Author of Dutchman and The Slave, etc.

ith this volume of three previously unpublished plays—The Motion of History, Slave Ship, and 5-7—America's leading black playwright continues his exploration into the nature of white, capitalist society. In his introduction, Amiri Baraka says: "The plays in this book are part of the recent history of this country, but they try to talk about the origins of this society, state, nation, its internal contradictions, development, what it has turned into, and what it will turn into, as the capitalist system streaks on its way out!"

"A man of shattering fury." —New York Post

"Dutchman is designed to shock— its basic idea, its language and its murderous rage." —The New York Times

Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones) was born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1934. A poet, playwright, novelist, and essayist, his books include the best-selling Dutchman and The Slave, Home, Blues People, Black Music, Black Fire (with Larry Neal), and African Congress. Mr. Baraka presently lives in Newark and is chairman of the Congress of African People.

The Motion of History & Other Plays

The Motion of History—A revolutionary history of the United States, from colonial days to the present, depicting in powerful scenes the maltreatment of the masses—particularly blacks—by the white establishment. In Baraka's own words:
"The Motion of History focuses principally on the conscious separation created between black and white workers who are both exploited by the same enemy. The play sets itself the task of exposing this treachery and sham, but also of telling a part of this nation's history through its recurrent rebellions." It succeeds admirably.

Slave Ship—A stunning play about the horrors of slavery. Baraka says: "Slave Ship was written just before the Newark rebellion, and its impending explosion is the heat you feel. Slave Ship is a pageant, like my grandmother had in Bethany Baptist Church, with the old ladies dressed up in white sheets, telling the history of Bible times. But this pageant is more a scenario, a hot note of rage to be expanded, so that the bitterness becomes an environment in which we can all learn to be ourselves, now."

S-l—The most revolutionary play, concerned with the repressive Senate bill that would negate several of the Bill of Rights. It is a call to black revolutionary action.

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