Fires in the Mirror: Crown Heights, Brooklyn, and Other Identities. Front Cover. Anna Deavere Smith. Anchor Books/Doubleday, – Drama – pages. : Fires in the Mirror: Crown Heights, Brooklyn and Other Identities ( ): Anna Deavere Smith, Anna Deavere Smith: Books. Fires in the Mirror has ratings and 50 reviews. Cat said: This play made me fall in love with Anna Deavere Smith. Fires in the Mirror focuses on th.

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For that reason, and that reason alone, I felt its impact was dulled. Deafere Reverend Al Sharpton: Robert Sherman then contends that the English language is insufficient for describing and understanding race relations. At Gavin Cato’s funeral inSharpton spoke out against racism by Hasidic Jews and helped to mobilize large protests in Crown Heights. African American woman in her late 40s. Anba help improve this article if you can.

Feb 12, Andrew Sullar rated it did not like it.

Rabbi Joseph Spielman sadly describes how, though Gavin Cato was killed through no malicious intent, angry blacks began running through the streets, shouting for Jewish blood. Richard Schechner, “Anna Deavere Smith: Donning a annaa of hats, caps, yarmulkes, cloaks, and accents, she manages to move easily among a large number of people from vastly different backgrounds and temperaments.

The characters consistently provide their perspectives on whether racial harmony is possible in the United States, and many discuss how to go about achieving this goal. Still, the issues of slavery, the Holocaust, racism, and race relations are all at play here, and that gives it plenty of gravitas. The rioting produced injuries, arrests, and an estimated one million dollars in property damage. There are a total of 29 monologues in Fires in the Mirror and each one focuses on a character’s opinion and point of view of the events and issues deavee the crisis.

This invoked all the pain and fear that I’d seen, albeit after the fact, all the anger, the thoughtful, caring people who wanted to learn from it, the angry people who wanted to justify it, and most of all the confused, sad people who had shared this neighborhood until one horrible day.

I will definitely be considering this while writing my dissertation; her depictions of racial, gender, and cultural differences are fascinating, without providing answers. Schechner, Richard, “Anna Deavere Smith: I was very moved by the collection of all the perspectives. The themes include the ideas of personal identity, differences in physical appearance, differences in race, and the feelings toward the riot incidents.


And yet, even in their rage, fear, confusion, and partisanship, people of every persuasion and at every level of education and sophistication opened up to Smith. Bernstein discusses how mirrors are associated with distortion both in literature and in science.

His main role during the period of racial tension was to attempt to end the violence. From this book i leaned that even the smallest things that happen can This was another book that my friend recommended. From the many perspectives in Smith’s play, the reader is able to piece together a representative variety of emotions that blacks and Lubavitcher Jews felt toward each other. That said, I have a feeling the introductions have something to do with that–they built up Smith’s project and the play in such a way that I was expecting a lot, whereas I might have been more impressed with the play itself had I not read those introductions.

Physicists make telescopes with mirrors as large as possible in order to minimize the “circle of confusion. Some shamans exorcise demons by transforming themselves into the various being—good, bad, dangerous, benign, helpful, destructive. He believes that there will never be any justice because the words of black people “don’t have no meanin'” in Crown Heights. A woman faces the camera, her voice nasal and New York.

Of Jewish descent and in her fifties. Definitely worth the read.

Although twenty police officers were injured, the police were somewhat restrained in their response, partly because of sensitivity at the time due to the recent brutal beating of Rodney King by police officers in Los Angeles, which was caught on videotape and broadcast throughout the nation.

Most characters however, Jewish and black, do not feel any kind of Crown Heights solidarity, and see themselves as entirely separate racial groups according to the traditional European concept. A rapper from Los Angeles tge, Mo is a skilled poet and a socially conscious political thinker.

In addition to working as a manager in the music industry with singers including James BrownSharpton began a career in community activism. However, the fans, which represent either the Jewish or Black anna, will always support the team that they have come for.

The deaths of Gavin Cato and Yankel Rosenabum stirred up hatreds. Not shying away from deaver intense reality, Deavere asks an important questions regarding historic slavery, prejudice, and genocide.

Fires in the Mirror

But in so doing, she does not destroy smifh others or parody them. Add to this the idea that characters understand their race only in relation to other races and the result is a notion of identity that is very much dependent on how one views one’s surroundings and one’s neighbors as well as oneself. Don’t think I would have read this if it were not for a class requirement.


The most harrowing words, though, belong deaverw the survivors of the dead. Well-known African-American New York activist and minister. Smith also includes pauses, breaks indicated by dashes, and nonsensical noises like “um” to capture a sense of character and real speech.

Fires in the Mirror by Anna Deavere Smith | : Books

Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Through reasoning that escapes me, Crazy for You collected the prize, despite the fact that its Gershwin score was almost sixty years old. However, it is the readers’ decision of what to believe. The many diverse perspectives are attempts to reduce, in Professor Aaron M. Sep 01, Pages. Stay in Touch Sign up.

Fires in the Mirror – Wikipedia

Smith interviewed leading politicians, writers, musicians, religious leaders, and intellectuals together with residents of Crown Heights and th in the disturbances to craft the monologues of her play. Rabbi Spielman’s one-sided explanation of the accident and the events that followed reveal that he is unable or unwilling to view the situation from the perspective of members of the black community.

Instead, identity can be formed and altered by a neighborhood such as Crown Heights; this is why the subtitle of Smith’s play, “Crown Heights, Brooklyn and Other Identities,” suggests that Crown Heights is an identity in itself and that a resident figes the neighborhood incorporates their geographical area into their sense of self. Letty Cottin Pogrebin offers an explanation of this confusing set of circumstances in her scene “Near Enough to Reach.

In conventional acting a performer develops a character by reading a play text written before rehearsals begin, improvising situations based on the dramatic situation depicted in the play, and slowly coming to understand the external social situation and the internal emotional state of the character—Hamlet, Hedda Gabler, whoever.

Smith was born September 18,in Baltimore, Maryland. It was produced by Cherie Fortis and filmed by “American Playhouse”.