1. Gilroy, The Black Atlantic.
2. Conquergood, “Performance Studies,” 145–56. Work by Jacques Lacan
and Frantz Fanon also reverberate in this conception of black visioning and
re- visioning, imaging and imagining transnational identities and reflections of
blackness. See Lacan, “The Mirror Stage”; Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth.
3. “Tain” is a noun used here to extend the metaphor of illusion. It refers to
the thin tinfoil that renders glass a mirror.
4. African American performativity signiﬁes a break from aesthetics as a de-
scription of high culture or a determining set of terms or standards of one staid
cultural mode of representation. For further explanation of mimesis and aesthet-
ics, see Auerbach, Mimesis.
5. For more on postcoloniality, mimicry, and the politics of representation,
see Bhabha, Location of Culture.
6. I thank Michael Witmore for helping me flesh out these connections.
7. For a discussion of theater space and the possibilities of transformation, see
Dolan, “Geographies of Learning,” 417–41.
1. There are numerous investigations into the historical, political, and cul-
tural milieu of this time. See Kornweibel, “Seeing Red”; Robinson, Black Marxism;
Robinson, Black Movements in America; Denning, The Cultural Front.
2. For more on the eﬃcacy of performance, see Madison, “Performance, Per-
sonal Narratives, and the Politics of Possibility” 278.
3. H. Baker, Modernism and the Harlem Renaissance, 6.