A One-Woman Riot: Brooklyn 1991 & Los Angeles 1992

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In this article the author analyzes two of Anna Deavere Smith's documentary-style dramatic works that perform race relations through a series of character monologues. The author argues that in both "Fires in the Mirror" and Twilight: Los Angeles 1992," Smith opened a space literally on the stage and figuratively in the national consciousness for multiple voices that often go unheard. She notes that Smith investigated the communal tensions that sparked the 1991 Crown Heights riot in Brooklyn, New York City, and the 1992 riot in Los Angeles, California. The author suggests that Smith's work not only speaks the riots from different--and often conflicting-- points of view, but also documents how conversations about race have brought renewed focus on the issue of racial equality in the U.S.

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