From the European South

a transdisciplinary journal of postcolonial humanities

Julius B. Fleming Jr.’s Black Patience: Unveiling the transformative potential of theater during the Civil Rights Movement



In Black Patience: Performance, Civil Rights, and the Unfinished Project of Emancipation (2022), Julius B. Fleming Jr. analyzes plays, productions, and performances staged during the core years of the Civil Rights Movement (1954-1965), highlighting the underrecognized importance of Black theater to the cultural and political practices of the movement and expanding its archive and repertoire beyond more commonly studied sources, namely photography and television. Black patience, a disciplinary device that entails specific temporal protocols and affective postures based on deferral, deference, and docility, serves as the conceptual framework for Fleming’s study. By introducing and applying the concepts of Afro-Presentism and fugitive affect to Black theater, Fleming advances the burgeoning field of Black Time Studies and develops an original analysis of understudied performative practices enacted by Black artists and activists during the most prominent phase of the Civil Rights Movement.


Black patience, Black Time Studies, Afro-Presentism, fugitive affect, Civil Rights Movement, Black theater



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