By Dael Orlandersmith
(Vintage Books, Paperback, 9781400032068, 96pp.)
Publication Date: October 8, 2002
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These two raucously acclaimed new plays by Dael Orlandersmith, whom The New York Times has called "an otherworldly messenger, perhaps the sorcerer's apprentice, or a heaven-sent angel with the devil in her," confirm her reputation as one of the truly unique voices in contemporary American drama.
In Yellowman, a finalist for the 2002 Pulitzer Prize in Drama, Alma and Eugene have known each other since they were young children. As their friendship blossoms into love, Alma struggles to free herself from her mother's poverty and alcoholism, while Eugene must contend with the legacy of being "yellow"—lighter-skinned than his brutal and unforgiving father. In My Red Hand, My Black Hand, a young woman explores her heritage as the child of a blues-loving Native American man and a black sharecropper's daughter from Virginia. Alternately joyous and harrowing, both plays are powerful examinations of the racial tensions that fracture communities and individual lives.