The Free Southern Theater was a Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) initiative that wanted to bring theatrical performance to rural communities in the deep Southeastern United States. To interpret the critical praxis and broader analytical importance of the Free Southern Theater, we develop and apply two conceptual frameworks: radical placemaking and epistemic violence/justice. As we assert in this paper, the theater program was demonstrative of the fundamental but radical ways SNCC sought to remake places and institutions and create new ones that would respond to the struggles of poor Black southerners, build community capacity for social change, reaffirm visions of Black belonging, and provide respite and self-care for racism-weary communities. The Free Southern Theater also reflected the value that SNCC placed on mobilizing information, communication, and the politics of representation to combat white supremacy, while also articulating and legitimizing an explicitly Black vision of society and space.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geography, Planning and Development