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This book interweaves a wide selection of the novels of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries with a series of cultural events ranging from Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show to the ‘Southern Renaissance’ of the 1930s. Minter examines a wide variety of period novels as works of art that arise from and that remain embedded in culture - arguing conversely, that cultural events such as the making of Chicago’s Columbian Exposition and New York’s Armory Show differ only in degree, not in kind, from novels. Minter thus constructs a broad and synthetic vision that portrays literary history as a cultural drama in which novels and events emerge as related sites of cultural expression. This book traces the history of African American theatre from its beginnings to the present. It analyses the types of plays written for this theatre, identifies the perennial problems faced by theatre artists and producing companies, and makes bold, innovative proposals for the theatre’s healthy survival.