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Editor: Harley Hammerman
St. Louis, Missouri

Volume 9
2014

[CONTENTS]

Rage Against Miscegenation:
The Controversy of Eugene O'Neill's All God's Chillun Got Wings

Caroline Hill
Miami University

Eugene O’Neill showed early in his career his ability to create controversy through his writing, and his 1924 play, All God’s Chillun Got Wings (Chillun), was no exception. The last of his dramas to explore the life of black Americans in the 1920s, Chillun, which opened in May 1924, proved to be perhaps the most controversial of these plays—others of which include The Hairy Ape (1922), The Emperor Jones (1920), and The Dreamy Kid (1918). While all of these plays proved problematic in their portrayals of race, especially by today’s perspectives, their influence on the theatre and intellectuals of the day cannot be ignored. O’Neill’s treatment of the black experience in America is inevitably flawed, but his attempts to create a voice for African Americans in theatre—at a time when blackface was still the prominent medium for depicting blackness in theatre and movies—should not be overlooked. However, arguably the greatest downfall of Chillun was in many of the audience’s and critics’ inability to see beyond the miscegenation and interracial kiss to a play about the human condition, which O’Neill hopelessly attempted to rectify. Prior to, during, and after the first production of Chillun, O’Neill insisted that the characters in his drama were much more than their skin color, they were depictions of the greater human condition. Unfortunately for O’Neill, however, his inclusion of miscegenation and the infamous interracial kiss between the main characters was the media’s only focus. Much like his other so-called race plays, Chillun has rarely been produced since its original production in 1924 and even that production is outshone by the controversy that surrounded it. The play was generally considered a success, but the question of whether the controversy surrounding it helped or hurt it remains; while there were certainly large crowds who came to the theatre to see Chillun, the reviews of it were lukewarm at best. Due to the inconsistent reception of Chillun, this paper endeavors to argue that in reviewing the events culminating in Chillun’s first production, it becomes clear that O’Neill’s final race play made a lasting impact on American culture for years to come, remaining a thought provoking and controversial play to this day.

Figure 1: Playbill for the original production of All God’s Chillun Got Wings. The playbill included the words to the Negro spiritual, “All God’s Chillun Got Wings,” a poem by Langston Hughes, and an article by W.E.B. Dubois.[1]

Chillun is a play in two acts, which centers on the relationship between Jim Harris and Ella Downey, two childhood friends who eventually marry despite their racial differences and the societal pressures of their time; Jim is black and Ella is white. During the first act of Chillun, O’Neill focuses on the evolution of Jim and Ella’s relationship; in the first scene, they are children, living in an interracial neighborhood in Brooklyn, playing marbles with other children. As the curtain falls on the first scene, the two children discover they like each other, transcending racial constraints—however, Jim promises to continue eating chalk in order to become white, while Ella wants to don blackface and become black. Nearing the end of the first scene, Ella tells Jim, “I wouldn’t. I like black. Let’s you and me swap. I’d like to be black. (clapping her hands) Gee, that’d be fun, if we only could!” However, as the next scene unfolds, which takes place nine years later, Ella has succumbed to the racism of the time, wanting nothing to do with Jim because of the color of his skin. In the second scene, Jim asks Ella if she hates him because he no longer speaks to him, to which she replies, “What would I speak about? You and me’ve got nothing in common any more.”[3] In stark contrast to the prologue, this scene begins portraying Ella’s struggle with her ideas of racial superiority, which she fails to overcome. After being abandoned by the prized fighter, Joe, and experiencing the death of her illegitimate child, though, Ella agrees to marry Jim, and the first act closes with their marriage and departure for France.

In the second act, Jim and Ella return from France, and Ella descends into madness, as Jim attempts to pass the bar exam. In the final scene, Ella learns that Jim has failed to pass his bar exam again, and confesses that she would have had to kill him had he passed. As the scene ends, Jim pledges to be Ella’s “little boy” to her “little girl” and both characters revert back to their childhood games.[4] While much of Chillun certainly deals with race, the drama goes beyond that, showing the audience the destruction of the couple as a result of Ella’s egotism and Jim’s inferiority complex. As Jeffrey Ullom asserts, “O’Neill’s racial theme is rather clumsily handled at the beginning and then powerfully at the end.”[5] This argument, much like most arguments concerning Chillun, fails to look at the drama as one about the human condition, not one merely about race. In reexamining the context surrounding Chillun and its first performances, though, it becomes clear how and why much of O’Neill’s message was lost to the audience.

Figure 2. Press photo for the original production of All God’s Chillun Got Wings. The photo depicts the scene in which Ella Downey (portrayed by Mary Blair) kisses Jim Harris’s (portrayed by Paul Robeson) hand. The controversy surrounding the drama stemmed from this interracial kiss and its implications to 1920s America.[6]

When O’Neill first wrote Chillun, he intended for his play to have a message beyond the dynamics of an interracial relationship, but he perhaps made a fatal error in including an interracial kiss. However, when the press first learned of the interracial kiss that O’Neill intended to perform in Chillun, the controversy began. And, as Glenda Frank notes, “The arguments were repeated in government offices and churches, in living rooms and at community gatherings. It affected the lives of hundreds of people who not only never saw the play, but never read the script.”[7] Beginning five months before the play’s opening night—three months before it was originally scheduled, in March 1924—newspapers such as the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, the New York World, and the New York American began running articles about Chillun. The multitude of newspaper articles published prior to production of the play caused much furor and controversy for all those involved in the production leading up to the opening night of Chillun. While O’Neill was no stranger to controversy, the press involved with the production of Chillun outshone any other controversy he had thus far experienced—including his next play, Desire Under the Elms.[8] The mayor of New York City, John Hylan[9], and his compatriots attempted to stop the production of Chillun, but were unable to, as the private theatre company, the Provincetown Players, put on the play. However, this did not stop the authorities from denying a permit for children to be involved in the production, leaving the first scene—a prologue—of Chillun unperformed until its 1975 revival. After Hylan’s failure to censor the play to his standards, Hylan’s censorship took an “unconventional” turn, and the decision to keep children from performing, as they were “too young” was likely his last resort; it is important to note, as Miller has observed, that “younger children with heavier parts in uptown theatres performed their nightly roles in freedom.”[10] Given such constraints, the director of the 1924 production, James Light, read the first scene aloud to the audience and the second scene continued as written.[11] While Hylan did not get the censorship he had hoped for, his success in preventing the first scene of the play from being performed was a success in helping to destroy the play that O’Neill had hoped for in writing Chillun; much like his other race plays,[12] the intense scrutiny and threat of censorship that O’Neill was subject to led to the “complete distortion of O'Neill's artistic aims, whereby his fundamentally serious psychological studies were twisted into lewd and obscene trash.”[13] Chillun would fall into obscurity after its run was finished—despite its controversial beginnings—and time left it virtually un-performable for today’s audiences.

Much to O’Neill’s chagrin—and despite his attempts to prevent it—people who did not understand, or in many cases had not even read, the play created most of the discourse surrounding Chillun. When the first newspaper articles were published, O’Neill brushed them off, calling on his audience to read his script before developing their opinion on the drama—which was published by American Mercury[14] months prior to its performance—instead of listening to the sensationalist newspaper articles. However, according to O’Neill scholar Glenda Frank, O’Neill’s greatest downfall—that is, the biggest reason that O’Neill and his cast became subject to backlash by the media and the authorities—was in his casting decisions, not in the script itself.[15] O’Neill had decided to cast Paul Robeson—who played the eponymous main character in The Emperor Jones—as the ambitious, but flawed, Jim Harris and cast white actress Mary Blair as his wife, Ella. The decision to cast a black man opposite a white woman, in a play in which there was an onstage kiss, made Chillun the first play to have an interracial kiss on an American stage. This interracial kiss, which sparked nearly all of the media attention that the drama received, arguably took away from O’Neill’s play overall. What did the kiss add to the production? By the time Chillun was finally staged, much of its themes and motifs had already gone the way of The Hairy Ape before it, falling into obscurity in favor of the greater controversy. Centuries before Chillun was written, miscegenation proved to be a volatile subject both onstage and off. The disapproval and outlawing of miscegenation continued beyond O’Neill as well; as recently as 1967, miscegenation was outlawed in 16 states—laws prohibiting miscegenation were overturned by the Supreme Court in Loving v. Virginia in 1967—and, more importantly, interracial marriage was outlawed in 30 of the 48 states at the time of the first production of Chillun. Further, as Frank notes, “While liaisons between black women and white men were tacitly acknowledged, black men were mutilated and murdered for any involvement with white women.”[16] Perhaps if O’Neill had chosen to depict both Jim as white and Ella as black, his drama would have been received much differently; however, the fact remains that O’Neill’s characters in Chillun were an interracial couple at a time when that type of interaction in American culture was taboo. On top of the real life oppositions to miscegenation, though, are theatrical productions dating as far back as Shakespeare’s Othello in showing the downfalls of miscegenation.[17]

The interracial kiss caused controversy among both black and white audiences and critics. Already mentioned were Hylan’s attempts to censor the play, hoping to stop its production entirely, but also of note were the cries of protest in the black community regarding Chillun. Reverends A. Clayton Powell and J.W. Brown both shared their negative sentiments about the production—and, it is worth noting, both likely did not read the text of the play, as their statements about it seemed misinformed.[18] As Powell said in an interview with the right-wing New York American: “The kissing of a white woman by a big, strapping Negro is bound to cause bad feelings. . . . For myself and my congregation, the largest colored Baptist Church in the city, I want to go on record as being opposed to Mr. O’Neill’s play.”[19] As indicated here, Powell misunderstood the nature of the interracial kiss that would be performed, believing that Robeson would kiss Blair and not the other way around.[20] Much like the other articles published by the New York American and other newspapers, it is likely that the greatest reason for stirring up the controversy around Chillun was to serve a political agenda, cementing the idea that miscegenation should be avoided and remain illegal; as Ullom asserts:

O’Neill deserves to be appreciated for his bravery and for not setting an example whereby politicians and other groups could assume that any arts organization would cave in to pressure. In addition, the Chillun controversy demands recognition as another futile attempt by public figures to exploit a play for personal gain.... Fortunately, the furor over Chillun remains a proud moment when theater practitioners shunned political pressure, refused to let their play be exploited by self-serving factions, and stood together in defense of their art.[21]

O’Neill’s sentiments towards his drama mimic Ullom’s assessment; in an interview with The New York Times, O’Neill said, “Judging by the criticism it is easy to see that the attacks are almost entirely based on ignorance of God’s Chillun. I admit that there is prejudice against the intermarriage of whites and blacks, but what has that to do with my play?.... I am never the advocate of anything in any play—except humanity toward Humanity.”[22] O’Neill did not hope to laud miscegenation in his play as much as he hoped to comment on the human condition—something that nearly all of his plays, including those centered on race, did. Unfortunately for O’Neill, the era that he lived in did not allow for this, and instead, Chillun was relegated to a play about miscegenation, due mostly to the media’s fear mongering before the drama was ever performed. In addition to causing undue controversy for Chillun, the media attention surrounding O’Neill’s drama led to death threats to O’Neill, O’Neill’s son, and Robeson. One particular instance of a threat was made to O’Neill on Ku Klux Klan stationary, to which, according to Frank, O’Neill responded, “Go fuck yourself.”[23]

Aside from O’Neill and Robeson, Blair was next in danger of the backlash surrounding the production, as a white actress agreeing to play opposite a black man. The New York American printed several articles concerning this particular controversy, first declaring that another actress, Helen MacKellar, turned down the role upon learning that she would be playing opposite a black man. Frank asserts that this was an incorrect report, but gives little evidence to support this, whereas Jeffrey Ullom suggests MacKellar was fired for this reason—then later proposes that an octoroon replace either Robeson or Blair.[24] Blair was an unpredictable actress who would either soar or sink in her performances, “but O’Neill often insisted she be in his plays because of gratitude for her early allegiance to the Provincetown Players.”[25] Blair became ill with pleurisy in March 1924, causing a delay in the production of Chillun; Blair’s husband blamed her illness on the hate mail she received.[26] As much as Blair’s career seems to be buried by time and obscurity, however, Robeson became a well-known actor after his breakout role in Chillun, perhaps most notably for his role in the film version of The Emperor Jones, his subsequent film roles, and his later civil rights activism.

Robeson did not begin his career conventionally, however; before he became an actor, Robeson earned his law degree at Columbia after earning his undergraduate at Rutgers. He became disillusioned with the idea of becoming a practicing attorney, however, and believed that he could not be successful as a black man in the field.[27] This fact alone made Robeson an ideal candidate to play the downtrodden Jim Harris, whose attempt to earn his law degree drives Ella into madness. Robeson’s own personal experience with the hardship faced in pursuing a law degree—and the aftermath of actually earning one—make Jim’s character’s struggle that much more real. Although O’Neill’s play is written with a touch of obscurity and expressionism, the very actor to play the main character is the result of a failed attempt at a career in law—a coincidence that could not have been overlooked by O’Neill and others involved in the production of Chillun. After discarding his goals to become a lawyer, Robeson began to pursue acting, but did not get his break until 1923, when he was cast in Roseanne, put on by the African American company housed in Harlem, the Lafayette Players.[28] Just prior to this, O’Neill met Robeson, and in an interview with critic Mike Gold, O’Neill said, “he had got hold of a young man with ‘wonderful presence and voice, full of ambition and a damn fine man personally with real brains—not a ham....I don’t believe he’ll lose his head if he makes a hit—as he surely will, for he’s read the play for me.’”[29] Because of Blair’s illness, the production of Chillun had to be pushed back, leaving a gap in the Provincetown Players’ productions; so, Robeson took on the role of the title character in The Emperor Jones, which was performed just before the opening of Chillun, as “it seemed a good idea to fill in” the gap in performances with The Emperor Jones, which had been a great success in the original 1920 production.[30] Critics, who often compared him to the original Brutus Jones, Charles Gilpin, generally lauded Robeson’s performance.[31]

Despite Robeson’s promising acting, Chillun did not receive the same reputation as The Emperor Jones. As previously mentioned, the media circus surrounding the play created expectations and sparked outrage that the play itself did not inspire. When Chillun was finally performed on May 15, 1924,[32] its reviewers were often far from fond of the play. As one reviewer for the Brooklyn Daily News, reported, “Possibly if [All God’s Chillun] had not been made so notorious this welcome would have been calmer. It is not a play to arouse great enthusiasm.”[33] The critic ends his review with, “Affectation still persists in the productions of the Provincetown Players, and O’Neill is hardly free from it himself in this instance.”[34] In a more favorable review of Chillun, though, Ludwig Lewisohn of the Nation states, “The production of the Provincetown Players is notably fine, Mr. Paul Robeson is a superb actor extraordinarily sincere and eloquent.”[35] However, he also ends his review with a note on the play’s mediocrity, stating, “I have seen far more beauty and intelligence and mobility than there are in this production and this play. I have seen nothing that so deeply gave me an emotion comparable to what the Greeks must have felt at the dark and dreadful actions set forth by the older Attic dramatists.”[36] Although Chillun was a success in terms of the number of performances—any theatre production that has over 100 performances is a “success”—the reviews mentioned clearly show that Chillun was not O’Neill’s most popular work, and did not live up to the expectations of his previous works, such as The Emperor Jones. As Frank notes, “Some of the critics were so relieved that there had been no violence that that became their news.”[37] However, the play was most likely misunderstood by the critics in the same way that it had been before opening night.

Just as Reverends Powell and Brown—among many other commentators from the black community—had misunderstood O’Neill’s play prior to its performance, white critics had the same difficulties in their reviews of the play. Despite O’Neill’s efforts, the most memorable and notable part of his drama was the interracial marriage and kiss, and not his observations on the human condition. As O’Neill said in an interview with The New York Times, which was published days before opening night, “The persons who have attacked my play have given the impression that I make Jim Harris a symbolical representative of his race and Ella of the white race—that by uniting them I urge intermarriage. Now Jim and Ella are special cases and represent no one but themselves.”[38] Unfortunately, this claim fell largely on deaf ears. After stating that the play was boring, reviewer Arthur Pollock of the Brooklyn Daily News incorrectly labeled the play as “seven scenes depicting...stages in the progress of the miscegenetic romance.... It is a sharp and pertinent analysis of the question of intermarriage between whites and blacks...”[39] It seems as though Pollock had not read O’Neill’s New York Times interview at all in making these claims about Chillun; his analysis of the play is clearly propped up by the media spectacle that was created around the drama, and the apparent views on race and miscegenation that had existed in the United States at the time of the play’s production. The failure of the critics of Chillun was not only because of the media attention the play received in the months leading up to its opening night but also in their inability to see beyond the racial aspects of the play. Many reviews of Chillun fail to go beyond an analysis of O’Neill’s portrayal of race and intermarriage, to the autobiographical elements and more that are beneath the surface. It is no coincidence that O’Neill named the main characters after his parents—Ella was his mother’s name, and James his father’s. The struggles that the couple in Chillun face is not exclusive to an interracial couple, but rather to a couple who does not see themselves on equal footing. Ella is intent upon feeling superior to Jim because of the color of her skin, but this could easily be changed to suit any number of other conditions. Fortunately, one reviewer, Lewisohn, did see the merit of the play beyond the intermarriage; in his review he asserts, “But the problem he has selected cleaves so near the bone of human life itself that it possesses a transcendent symbolic character.”[40] This reviewer is one of a few who took this stance and who saw beyond the black Jim and white Ella into an examination by O’Neill of human life on the whole. O’Neill asserts in his New York Times interview, “To me every human being is a special case, with his or her own special set of values.... But it is the manner in which those values have acted on the individual and his reactions to them which makes of him a special case.”[41] Jim Harris and Ella Downey were O’Neill’s special cases in Chillun, and their race was merely a peripheral catalyst to their destruction.

Chillun has been revived just three times since 1924: in 1975, in 2001, and in 2013. This fact is not surprising, as the drama is inevitably racist to today’s eyes, but in spite of the fact Chillun is rarely staged, the most recent performance of the drama was in September 2013. This performance is of note not because of the performance itself, but because of the director’s decision to segregate the audience. Performed at the Jack Theatre in Brooklyn, the audience members were told to sit in either the “black” or “white” sections—which faced each other—and those who did not fall into either category were forced to choose between the two.[42] This production of the play seems to be more of a study of its impact—or perhaps its continued relevance—than anything else, highlighting the audience more than the performers, perhaps to help illuminate the division between the experience of these two groups even in today’s society. While this production did not have the same stigma and controversy attached to it as the original, it marks an important point in the play’s history, which can only be understood through the study of its original performance.

Although O’Neill found that Chillun was largely misunderstood, as the drama was much more than a play about miscegenation, the fact remains that this was his last race play. Despite his efforts to downplay the interracial marriage and kiss in the drama, O’Neill’s play is not only about the human condition—as he had intended it to be—but also one about the black condition in the United States in the 1920s. Much like The Emperor Jones and The Hairy Ape, however, O’Neill failed to completely grasp this particular human condition completely, leaving Chillun largely misunderstood and the subject of great controversy. As the 2013 production demonstrated, the racial tension that O’Neill felt in his lifetime has not completely disappeared. Chillun remains a relevant piece of writing today, from the controversy that began its fame to the racial and human strides O’Neill attempted to make in the play, despite their shortcomings.

NOTES

[1]Playbill, “All God’s Chillun Got Wings,” eOneill.com, http://www.eoneill.com/artifacts/AGC1.htm.

[2]Eugene O’Neill, All God’s Chillun Got Wings in O’Neill Complete Plays, 1920-1931 (New York: Library of America, 1988), 282.

[3]O’Neill, All God’s Chillun, 287.

[4]Ibid., 315.

[5]Jeffrey Ullom, “Fear Mongering, Media Intimidation, and Political Machinations: Tracing the Agendas Behind the All God’s Chillun Got Wings Controversy,” Comparative Drama 45:2 (2011): 82.

[6]Helen Deutsch and Stella Hanau, “Scene in O'Neill's All God's Chillun Got Wings in which Paul Robeson kissed Mary Blair's hand and created a national uproar,” Provincetown Playhouse, Wikimedia Commons, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:All_God%27s_Chillun_Got_Wings.png.

[7]Glenda Frank, “Tempest in Black and White: The 1924 Premiere of Eugene O’Neill’s All God’s Chillun Got Wings,” Resources for American Literary Study 26:1 (2000): 75.

[8]Desire Under the Elms, which was first produced 1924, included infanticide and adultery among other taboo themes, leading to the arrest of the entire cast in California.

[9]According to Jordan Miller, in his book, Eugene O’Neill and the American Critic, Hylan “took a personal interest” in the play, and Hylan “intervened in an attempt to prevent the staging of a play that would dare to show a white woman kissing a Negro's hand” which he considered a “problem play” that had no depth beyond the controversial concept of miscegenation (59).

[10]Jordan Y. Miller, Eugene O’Neill and the American Critic (London: Hamdon Archon Books, 1962), 59.

[11]Arthur Pollock, “All God’s Chillun,” Brooklyn Daily News, May 16, 1924.

[12]The Hairy Ape, for instance, ran for two months at the Provincetown Playhouse before it was charged with being “obscene, indecent, and impure,” according to a New York Times article published in May 1922. Although nothing ever came of attempt at censorship, O’Neill’s play was no longer what O’Neill had intended it to be, but rather the work of a perverse playwright (Miller, 58). Much like All God’s Chillun Got Wings would become a play about miscegenation, The Hairy Ape’s troubles with the press and the authorities left it stripped of the artist’s intent.

[13]Miller, Eugene O’Neill and the American Critic, 58.

[14]Eugene O’Neill, All God’s Chillun Got Wings in American Mercury, Volume I, Number 2 (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1924).

[15]Frank, “Tempest in Black and White,” 82.

[16]Frank, 77.

[17]Ibid., 77.

[18]Ibid., 82.

[19]Powell qtd. in Frank, “The Tempest in Black and White,” 82.

[20]Appearing at the end of the play, O’Neill’s stage directions read: “(She kisses his hand as a child might, tenderly and gratefully.)” O’Neill, All God’s Chillun, 315.

[21]Ullom, “Fear Mongering,” 94-95.

[22]Louis Kantor, “O’Neill Defends his Play of Negro: Dramatist Asserts He Does Not Advocate Union of Black and White Races in ‘All God’s Chillun Got Wings,’” The New York Times, May 11, 1924.

[23]Frank, “Tempest in Black and White,” 79.

[24]Ibid., 86.

[25]Yvonne Shafer, Performing O’Neill (New York, St. Martin’s Press, 2000), 15.

[26]Frank, “Tempest in Black and White,” 86.

[27]Shafer, Performing O’Neill, 13.

[28]Ibid., 14. The Lafayette Players were the first black theatre company in the United States, as well as the first theatre company to desegregate their audience around 1912. The Provincetown Playhouse followed suit in this regard, as its theatre was also desegregated.

[29]O’Neill qtd. in Shafer, Performing O’Neill, 14.

[30]Shafer, Performing O’Neill, 15.

[31]Gilpin became popular for his portrayal of Emperor Jones, but because of his refusal to use the word “nigger” during his performances, as well as his reputation as an alcoholic, O’Neill severed ties with him. Despite his original promise, Gilpin’s reputation fell into obscurity, and he eventually had a breakdown at the age of 50—before his death at 51. O’Neill said of Gilpin: “As I look back on all my work I can honestly say there was only one actor who carried out every notion of a character I had in mind. That actor was Charles Gilpin as the Pullman porter in The Emperor Jones.” (Shafer, Performing O’Neill, 13).

[32]The performance had a month-long run at Provincetown Playhouse, then transferred to the Greenwich Village Theatre for 100 performances, according to Ullom’s article (83).

[33]Pollock, “All God’s Chillun.”

[34]Pollock, “All God’s Chillun.”

[35]Ludwig Lewisohn, “All God’s Chillun,” The Nation, June 4, 1924.

[36]Lewisohn, “All God’s Chillun.”

[37]Frank, “Tempest in Black and White,” 87.

[38]Kantor, “O’Neill Defends His Play of Negro.”

[39]Pollock, “All God’s Chillun.”

[40]Lewisohn, “All God’s Chillun.”

[41]Kantor, “O’Neill Defends His Play of Negro.”

[42]Claudia la Rocco, “Divided Society and a Divided Audience,” The New York Times, September 10, 2013, C4.

WORKS CITED

Als, Hilton. “Master of Disguise: Paul Robeson and The Emperor Jones.” The Criterion Collection. 2013. http://www.criterion.com/current/posts/1269-master-of-disguise-paul-robeson-and-the-emperor-jones.

Bogard, Travis. Contour in Time. New York: Oxford University Press, 1988.

Bower, Martha Gilman. “All God’s Chillun: Religion and ‘Painty Faces’ versus the NAACP and the Provincetown Players.” Laconics 1 (2006).

Frank, Glenda. “Tempest in Black and White: The 1924 Premiere of Eugene O’Neill’s All God’s Chillun Got Wings.” Resources for American Literary Study 26:1 (2000): 75-89.

Gagnon, Donald P. “Pipe Dreams and Primitivism: Eugene O’Neill and the Rhetoric of Ethnicity.” PhD diss., University of South Florida, 2003.

Hinden, Michael. “The Transitional Nature of All God’s Chillun Got Wings.” The Eugene O’Neill Newsletter 4 (1980). http://www.eoneill.com/library/newsletter/iv_1-2/iv-1-2b.htm.

Kantor, Louis. “O’Neill Defends his Play of Negro: Dramatist Asserts He Does Not Advocate Union of Black and White Races in ‘All God’s Chillun Got Wings.’” The New York Times, May 11, 1924.

Lewisohn, Ludwig. “All God’s Chillun.” The Nation, June 4, 1924. http://www.eoneill.com/artifacts/reviews/agc1_nation.htm.

McKnight, Harry W. “The Black O’Neill: African American Portraiture in Thirst, The Dreamy Kid, Moon of the Caribees, The Emperor Jones, The Hairy Ape, All God’s Chillun Got Wings, and The Iceman Cometh.” M.A. thesis, Ohio Dominion University, 2012.

Miller, Jordan Y. Eugene O’Neill and the American Critic. London: Hamden Archon Books, 1962.

Morrison, Michael A. “Emperors Before Gilpin: Opal Cooper and Paul Robeson.” Eugene O’Neill Review 33:2 (2012): 159-173.

Pollock, Arthur. “All God’s Chillun.” Brooklyn Daily News, May 16, 1924.

La Rocco, Claudia. “Divided Society and a Divided Audience: ‘All God’s Chillun Got Wings,’ Revived in Brooklyn.” The New York Times, September 10, 2013.

Shafer, Yvonne. Performing O’Neill. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2000.

Ullom, Jeffrey. “Fear Mongering, Media Intimidation, and Political Machinations:

Tracing the Agendas Behind All God’s Chillun Got Wings Controversy.” Comparative Drama 45:2 (2011): 81-97.

[CONTENTS]


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