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Shakespeareans for #BlackLivesMatter

By Cymbeline Anthropocene on Jun 19, 2020 at 05:29 PM in Articles of Interest
Shakespeareans for #BlackLivesMatter

As numerous theatres and arts organizations take action in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, Shakespeare's Globe has joined the global movement.

In a statement on their website, the Globe commits to anti-racism work in their productions and education initiatives, and refers patrons to several Black Lives Matter initiatives to support. The statement also takes accountability for how Shakespeare's works have historically been used as tools to further colonial and racist projects: “Shakespeare’s work has been put to sinister use in the past, co-opted by white nationalism. But Shakespeare is for all. We have been and continue to be committed to racial justice. We sometimes fail, but we also learn, and we want to work against systemic racism.” 

To encourage patrons to join this learning process, the Globe has also compiled a list of books, articles, and podcasts on race and Shakespeare, most of which are free to access. Many highlights from these resources are authored by Professor Farah Karim-Cooper, the Globe's in-house Shakespeare and race expert. Her works include an essay on the importance of anti-racist Shakespeare studies, and a podcast featuring Professor Ayanna Thompson and Dr. Noemie Ndiaye discussing everything from the creation of racial imaginaries in theatre to Aaron's black power speech in Titus Andronicus (the podcast is available in audio and transcript formats). 

Cymbeline in the Anthropocene is already thinking about how race, ecology, and theatre intersect, with thoughts from our team coming soon. We encourage our readers and colleagues to check out the resources linked above, to keep learning from the work of Black theatre artists and scholars, and to support any local Black Lives Matter initiatives where they are.