This afternoon, I stopped by Harvard's Houghton Library in search of materials relating to the many plays we've discussed over the past week of seminars, public lectures and discussions. I was especially struck by archives housed in the Harvard Theatre Collection pertaining to the work of Amiri Baraka, whose 1964 play Dutchman came up in Harvey Young's lecture. I also found manuscripts and other documents surrounding the theatrical production of French playwright Jean Genet and The Blacks: A Clown Show, which was the subject of Carrie Preston's lecture. Here are a few highlights:
1. A copy of Native Son by Richard Wright that had been owned by Amiri Baraka (who was born as Everett LeRoi Jones).
2. Reels from photos taken of the 1964 production of Dutchman in the Village South Theatre by the New York Times photographer Alix Jeffry.
3. A program from the 1964 production of Dutchman at the Cherry Lane Theater, which was proceeded by Edward Albee’s The American Dream.
4. A French publication of The Blacks, most likely one of the first editions and with a cover designed by Genet himself.
5. An article written by Jean Genet in 1970 in support of Black Panther Chairman Bobby Seale, defending him from murder charges as he faced trial.