The participation of African Americans in musical theater, started off after 1750 in the english speaking theater on the atlantic coast. Participation then phased into minstrel shows in the states, white maintaining a strong presence in religious community theater. Shows featuring African Americans were characterized as being especially vibrant and impressive.
Elements of the genre
Musical theater is the combination of both acting and performance to showcase art. The art form is a lot more performative than other genres because it is a stage performance. Musical theater is characterized by overt annunciation, movement, and exaggerated vocals.
Early musical theater had many social implications, in the way it played apart in perpetuating racism. Minstrel shows ere a huge aspect of black musical theater because at a point in time it was one of the only places blacks could perform. But there were also many positive aspects of black musical theater, it became of hub for the community to gather together for friends and fellowship.
Langston Hughes was an important figure in the black musical theater scene. He not only was a crucial literature author in the Harlem Renaissance but he also was an excellent playwright. He was known for his portrayal of black life was especially crucial as he helped give African Americans their outlet to express their truth on stage
Commodification of the Genre
Through the history of black musical theater the artistry of black art has been used as a window to our experience. White audiences came out in droves to gain insight into black life and really purchased a lot of products of the Harlem Renaissance. Not only did black people support the fruits of the Harlem Renaissance, but white people also became patrons to black artists to get in on the actions.
Influences on Later Genres
Black musical theater has had a profound impact on performance art in general. From broadway to gospel the performance style from black musical theater has carried into many genres. The way in which acting and singing are combined in this genre we have mastered in terms of our stage presence.
Black plays especially musicals are the play I sincerely enjoy the most. There is a way of performing where black artists truly embody the spirit of our people. Black musical theater is a genre that I feel like we can at times overlook. But our contributions to the genre is unmatched. [embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMUgUc8vqAA[/embedyt]