"Prefiguring Postblackness explores the tensions between cultural memory of the African American Freedom Struggle and representations of African American identity staged in five plays produced between 1959 and 1969 during the Freedom Struggle era. Carol Bunch Davis shows how these plays' representations complicate reductive iterations of blackness, which often limit the Freedom Struggle era to Martin Luther King's nonviolent protest and cast Malcolm X's black nationalism as undermining civil rights movement's advances. These five plays strategically revise the rhetoric, representations, ideologies, and iconography of the African American Freedom Struggle, subverting its dominant narrative. This revision critiques racial uplift ideology's tenets of civic and moral virtue as a condition of African American full citizenship, as well as reimagines the Black Arts movement's restrictive notions of black authenticity as a condition of racial identity. These staged representations construct a counter-narrative to cultural memory of the Freedom Struggle in the very midst of that era. In their use of a "postblack ethos" to enact African American subjectivity, the plays envision black identity beyond the quest for freedom, anticipating what blackness might look like when it moves beyond the struggle for collective freedom. The plays range from the canonical (Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun and Amiri Baraka's Dutchman) to celebrated, yet understudied works (Alice Childress's Wine in the Wilderness; Howard Sackler's The Great White Hope; Charles Gordone's No Place to Be Somebody). Finally, Davis discusses recent revivals, showing how these 1960s plays shape dimensions of modern drama well beyond the decade of their creation"-- Provided by publisher.