originally published by HowlRound on August 27, 2020
Calling all Shakespeare lovers! Have you seen this document: Dismantling Anti-Black Linguistic Racism in Shakespeare?
Chicago-based director Lavina Jadhwani, an Asian American theatre artist and educator, created it for other non-Black theatre artists and educators to help us understand how anti-Black language can do harm to Black people. As a white theatre artist and educator myself who wants to avoid doing harm, I do in fact find it extremely useful. The guide walks us through several examples of potentially anti-Black language—such as Ethiopian, master, and minstrel—providing both classical and contemporary definitions of the words; offers examples of their use in Shakespeare; details why the words might be problematic; and offers possible substitutions, …
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