S186. The Impact of Race and Politics on Contemporary Black Playwrights

B116, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1
Saturday, March 30, 2019
12:00 pm to 1:15 pm


This panel, a Satellite Program of the National Black Writers Conference held at Medgar Evers College, CUNY, expands the narrative on Black playwrights. Many institutions advocate, produce, and celebrate Black playwrights such as August Wilson and Lorraine Hansberry, writers who have become part of the canon. Panelists expand the narrative of the Black playwright and discuss the impact of politics, racism, and social justice issues on the production of contemporary Black plays.


Dr. Brenda M. Greene is Executive Director of the Center for Black Literature, and Director of the National Black Writers Conference at Medgar Evers College, CUNY. Her research and scholarly work include African American literature and composition.

Gloria J. Browne-Marshall is a nationally produced playwright and author, John Jay College professor, syndicated columnist, and civil rights attorney. Her plays include: My Juilliard, Killing Me Softly, and CLASS, her work-in-progress on White rage/Black ambition.

Nina Angela Mercer's plays include Gutta Beautiful, Itagua Meji: A Road & A Prayer, Gypsy & The Bully Door, Sparrow, Elijaheen Becomes Wind, A Compulsion for Breathing, and Between Whispered Bloodlines (in development). She wrote and performed in Invocation for Jose Antonio Aponte, a video poem.

Holnes's poetry has appeared in Poetry, American Poetry Review, Callaloo, and elsewhere. His plays have been read, produced, presented at the Kennedy Center, Second Stage Theater, National Black Theater, Kitchen Theater, and elsewhere. He teaches at Medgar Evers College and NYU.


March 27–30, 2019
Portland, OR

Oregon Convention Center