Harlem Duet Analysis

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Many tragic stories are extremely powerful and because their impact is strong, they are often presented solitarily. Harlem Duet (Djanet Sears, 1996) however combines two powerful strategies of stories. With the use of media performance text, Djanet Sears presents Billie’s personal tragedy of Othello and Billie resisting each other's thoughts, actions, and wants by the use soundscape of Martin Luther King’s speech, dialogue referencing to Oppositional Gaze, and the handkerchief to combine these two stories. The reader can identify the combination of these two stories in Harlem Duet by Martin Luther King’s speech playing in the background, which becomes a tragedy. Resistance comes forward with the assist of Martin Luther King’s speech as Othello denies that the two races are different, the dialogue and reference to oppositional gaze in which Othello expresses a very sexist and racist view between White and Black women because Othello informs Billie that White women are desirable because they are easier, which becomes the tragic insecurity for Billie, and resistance to Billie and Black woman. Additionally, the most important combination of tragedy is when Billie is going insane and resistance happens. She decides to curse the handkerchief and resist Othello and Mona’s love. Djanet Sears uses soundscape, but specifically a speech – the polyrhythmic speech of Martin Luther King in the prologue – which says, “Martin Luther King continues to assert his dream”(47) emphasizing the

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