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December 10, 2023
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The Color of Shakespeare
Produced by: Richard Paul
At countless times in America, and for countless groups of citizens, the question has come up: Who "owns" Shakespeare? Who is it meant for, and to whom does it mean what? This is a particularly poignant question in the case of African-Americans, whom some have sought to exclude from the Bard's work. This story looks at minstrel show parodies of Shakespeare, color-blind casting of Shakespeare, and the African-American experience with Shakespeare. Produced by Richard Paul and narrated by Sam Waterston, The Color of Shakespeare was made possible with support from the Folger Library.

Program Credits

The Color of Shakespeare was produced by Richard Paul, and narrated by Sam Waterston. The associate producers were Esther Ferrington and Garland Scott. The music was composed and arranged by Lenny Williams. This program comes from the documentary series "Shakespeare in American Life," produced with support from the Folger Shakespeare Library, home to the world's largest Shakespeare collection.


The African-American Shakespeare Company
An African American Company that performs classic European plays.

Shakespeare and Race
by: Catherine M. S. Alexander, Stanley W. Wells 2000
A compilation of essays that deconstructs the presence of race in Shakespeare's plays.

Shakespeare, Race, and Colonialism
by: Ania Loomba 2002
Loomba explores how Shakespeare's ideas of race were shaped by beliefs about color, religion, nationality, class, money and gender.

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Programs by Richard Paul

Radio for between the ears
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