Happy day! My review of Black Performance on the Outskirts of the Left: A History of the Impossible was just published in The Journal of American Drama and Theatre (JADT). The introduction is below, but you can read the entire review here.
It begins with a bold proposition. In Black Performance on the Outskirts of the Left, scholar-practitioner Malik Gaines suggests that performance is a radical act and that black performances can amend “dominant discourses that manage representation and constrain the lives they organize” (1). Gaines analyzes this phenomenon “against the archives of three complicit registers, each of which engages a history of radicalism”: blackness; the sixties; and the transnational route between the United States, West Africa, and Europe (2-4). This configuration also permits Gaines to consider the “ties between visuality and power’s organization” (7). Thus, Gaines’s book uses interdisciplinary means to assess a range of stunning black cultural artifacts. Black Performance on the Outskirts of the Left adds to the field of black performance studies by providing crucial context for some of the most significant acts of black performance in the mid-twentieth century and by firmly rooting black performance studies within the even broader field of black diasporic studies […]