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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Fires in the Mirror by Anna Deavere Smith

Donning a variety of hats, caps, yarmulkes, cloaks, and accents, she manages to move easily among a large number of people from vastly different backgrounds and temperaments. Fascinating exploration into the roles we annw in American society. The anonymous Lubavitcher woman in the second scene of the play is a mother and preschool teacher in her mid-thirties.

The accident and the delayed response of emergency medical personnel sparked protests during which a Jewish student visiting from Australia was stabbed on the street by a group of black youths. A Time critic, for example, calls the television production of the play “riveting. It was dreadful and tedious to go on. Wigs have long been a “big issue” for her, in part because she feels like they are “fake” and she is “kind of fooling the world” when she wears one.

Fires in the Mirror – Wikipedia

That evening, a wmith of young black men stabbed and killed a Hasidic scholar from Australia named Yankel Rosenbaum. Wolfeand was produced by Smjth Fortis. Dec 03, Elliot Ratzman rated it really liked it Shelves: The Crown Heights Riots are almost beside the point for better or worseused here like a particle accelerator: Bernstein’s words, the “circle of confusion” at the center of the racial tension.

Minister Conrad Mohammed then outlines his view of the terrible historical suffering by blacks at the hands of whites, stressing that blacks, and not Jews, are God’s chosen people.

See all books by Anna Deavere Smith.

Mlrror rioting produced injuries, arrests, and an estimated one million dollars in property damage. The character is a complex fiction created collectively by the actor, the playwright, the director, the scenographer, the costumer, and the musician.

Smith tries to reveal both Black and Jewish view of the event and the truth of the Crown Height incident that happened where a little Black boy was killed by a car; and a Jewish man was stabbed and died.


In “Near Enough to Reach,” Pogrebin speculates that the tension and violence between blacks and Jews is due to the fact that Jews are close to blacks and take them seriously enough to address them in their rage. So I read this knowing many of the players at least in passing. Each character provides a unique perspective about how feelings such as rage, hatred, misunderstanding, and resentment were formed in individuals, and how they eventually manifested themselves in a massive community conflict.

But for reasons I’m still trying to understand, I couldn’t work up my usual quotient of rage over the ceremony. She went on to write and perform two additional plays in the s, but it was her play Fires in the Mirror that rocketed her into the spotlight.

Not shying away from the intense reality, Deavere asks an important questions regarding historic slavery, prejudice, and genocide. This car accident sparked a riot between the Hasidic Jewish community and the Black community because both communities felt betrayed and they also associated this with racism and their pass Anna Deaveree Smith’s goal for this book was to get the inside story from both the black community simth the Jewish community.

Smith interviewed Caribbean and Hasidic residents of Crown Heights, Brooklyn shortly after the tragedy mmirror August 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 skith.

This play made me fall in love with Anna Deavere Smith.

Fires in the Mirror

After constantly being treated as a “special special creature” in his private black grade school, he remembers being treated as though he were insignificant when he ventured outside of the black community.

Robert Sherman then contends that the English language is insufficient for describing and understanding race relations. I do think it’s a fascinating nana though, and the Crown Heights Riots are definitely something more people should know about. Since deavrre are concerned with this issue, it creates discrimination by excluding people of other colors. Smith’s shamanic invocation is her ability to bring into existence the wondrous “doubling” that marks great performances.

She was awarded a prestigious “genius grant” from the MacArthur Foundation inand inin association with the Ford Foundation, she founded the Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue at Harvard now at New York University to address socially and politically conscious art. Of course, whether or not the play would be so powerful without some of that extra understanding Throughout most of her performance she was dressed in black pants and white shirt and was barefoot.


Acting as Incorporation,” in TDR: Sep 01, Pages. Not all characters desire peace, however; some continue to miror retribution for past and current crimes. I was very moved by the collection of all the perspectives. She also neglects to mention that Black on Jewish violent crime was rampant before this incident, but not visa versa.

A year later, Sharpton became closely involved with the case of Tawana Bradley, a fifteen-year-old black girl who claimed she had been raped by five or six white men, one of whom had a police badge. Fires in the Mirror was Smith’s major breakthrough. Al Sharpton materializes to claim that he copied his own coiffure from James Brown “the father I never had”while a Lubavitcher woman named Rikvah Siegel tells of the five wigs she must wear as a woman among Hasids.

Her way of working is less like that of a conventional Euro-American actor and more like that of African, Native American, and Asian ritualists. A resident of Crown Heights, Mr.

It is considered a pioneering example of the genre known as verbatim theatre. The author of the book did research and she also interviewed members of each community to get their perspective on this incidence and also why are they participating.

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Dezvere 11, Jennifer Collins rated it really liked it Shelves: He then flew to Israel personally to serve legal papers to Yosef Lifsh, the bodyguard who ran over Gavin Cato. Lists with This Book. Jun 16, Kevin2 added it. In his other scene, “Rain,” he describes and defends his role in the events following Gavin Cato’s death, which he calls a ” complete outrage. She is currently the artist in residence at the Center for American Progress. Malamud blames black community leaders for instigating the riots and blames the police for letting them get out of control.