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In her introduction to this collection of Living Objects: African American Puppetry online texts, co-curator Paulette Richards gives an overview of “the power of performing objects to disrupt dehumanizing views of blackness,” and the continuing history of African American object performance in relation to other aspects of popular culture and writing, despite the suppression of African figurative sculpture and object performance, and the persistence of racist stereotypes born of blackface minstrelsy. Relating W. E. B. DuBois’s sense of African American “double consciousness” to the inherent “double vision” of puppet and object performance, Richards proposes a “distinct lineage of African American puppetry” and articulates crucial questions that new studies in this field should consider.

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puppetry, performing objects, African American culture


African American Studies | Africana Studies | Arts and Humanities | Other Theatre and Performance Studies | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies | Theatre and Performance Studies

Living Objects: Introduction