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ISBN: 9781771862561

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Bigotry on Broadway

An Anthology

In this hard-hitting anthology, Ishmael Reed and Carla Blank have invited a diverse group of informed and accomplished writers, both women and men, who are rarely heard to comment on the long-standing bigotry on Broadway towards many different ethnic minorities.

How do intellectuals and scholars feel about how members of their ethnic groups are portrayed on Broadway? How would we know? Very few of them have the power to rate which plays and musicals are worthy and which are flops, and above all, be heard or read. The American critical fraternity is an exclusive club.

In this anthology, Ishmael Reed and Carla Blank have invited a diverse group of informed and accomplishes writers– both women and men– who are rarely heard to comment on the long-standing bigotry on Broadway towards many different ethnic minorities.

Contributors include Lonely Christopher, Tommy Curry, Jack Foley, Emil Guillermo, Claire J. Harris, Yuri Kageyama, Soraya McDonald, Nancy Mercado, Aimee Phan, Betsy Theobald Richards, Shawn Wong, David Yearsley, and the editors.

Under review are Madame Butterfly, the Irving Berlin songbook, Oklahoma, South Pacific, Miss Saigon, Flower Drum Song, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, The Color Purple, The Book of Mormon, West Side Story and Hamilton.

Please Note: A collection can contain up to 30% of the chapters from this title


Ishmael Reed

Ishmael Reed is an award-winning poet, novelist, essayist, playwright, songwriter, lecturer and publisher. His play on the Broadway musical Hamilton, The Haunting of Lin-Manuel Miranda, garnered three 2019 AUDELCO awards. His most recent novel is The Terrible Fours (Baraka Books, 2021). He lives in Oakland.

Carla Blank

Carla Blank is a writer, director, dramaturge and editor. Author and editor of the 20th century historical reference Rediscovering America: The Making of Multicultural America, 1900-2000, she also co-authored Storming the Old Boys’ Citadel: Two Pioneer Women Architects of Nineteenth Century North America. She lives in Oakland.
Chapter Title Contents Contributors Pages Year Price


- 13 $1.30


The author explores bigotry on Broadway, highlighting various concerning statistics. 24 $2.40


The author critiques Disney and Hamilton, asserting that the sugarcoated treatment of American history that the musical presents is perfectly in sync with the Disney ethos. This chapter explores … 35 $3.50


This chapter critiques The Colour Purple and the Mister trope, arguing that the previous debates surrounding the depiction of Black men in Alice Walker’s The Color Purple have overlooked … 10 $1.00


This chapter explores the complicated legacy of Irving Berlin, highlighting some bigoted and problematic views. 15 $1.50


The author explores the racist, imperialist, and sexist undertones of South Pacific. 9 $0.90


This chapter outlines the many racist aspects of The Book of Mormon, as perceived by the author. 5 $0.50


This chapter explores the racism, fetishism/objectification, and misogyny of Madame Butterfly. 9 $0.90


The author explores the ways in which Okahoma! is about whiteness. 10 $1.00


The author explores the history, storyline, and issues of West Side Story, looking at issues of typecasting and racism. The author argues that Puerto Ricans are not the ones telling their West … 9 $0.90


This author recounts her experiences and perceptions of Anti-Asian bigotry in theatre/Broadway. 10 $1.00


Tha author recounts his experiences and thoughts after having written and produced his play The Haunting of Lin-Manuel Miranda and critiques the popular play Hamilton. 8 $0.80


The author recounts her shock and offense at the play Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, which, as she explores in this essay, is ahistorical and includes racist and problematic represenations of … 10 $1.00


Ishmael Reed interviews Shawn Wong regarding anti-Asian racism in Flower Drum Song, other theatre productions, and the industry at large. 18 $1.80


The author examines the racism and bigotry in Oklahoma!. 11 $1.10