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Larry Neal

Larry Neal or Lawerence Neal (September 5, 1937 – January 6, 1981) was a scholar of African-American theatre. He is well known for his contributions to the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and 1970s.


Neal was born in Lincoln University (Pennsylvania) in 1961 and received a master's degree in 1963 from the University of Pennsylvania. From 1968 to 1969, Neal taught at the City College of New York. The following year he taught at Wesleyan University. He taught at Yale University from 1970 to 1975.

Neal is known for working with Amiri Baraka to open the Black Arts Repertory Theatre/School. His early writings—including "The Negro in the Theatre" (1964), "Cultural Front" (1965), and "The Black Arts Movement" (1968)—were influential in defining and describing the role of the arts in the Black Power era.

His essays and poems appeared in publications such as Liberator, Drama Critque, Black Theatre, Negro Digest, Performance, and Black World. He also uncovered Ed Bullins's plagiarism of Albert Camus's play The Just Assassins. He won a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1970.[1]

Neal died from a heart attack in 1981. His papers are at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, a research library apart of the New York Public Library.[2]


In 1965, he married Evelyn Rodgers; they had one son.[3]


  • Black Boogaloo: Notes on Black Liberation (poetry) (1969)
  • Moving On Up (screenplay) (1973)
  • Hoodoo Hollerin' Bebop Ghosts (poetry) (1974)
  • The Glorious Monster in the Bell of the Horn (play) (1979)
  • In an Upstate Motel: A Morality Play (play) (1980)
  • Visions of a Liberated Future: Black Arts Movement Writings Edited by Michael Schwartz; with commentary by Amiri Baraka, Stanley Crouch, Charles Fuller, and Jayne Cortez. (essays) (1989)

As editor or contributor

  • Black Fire: An Anthology of Afro-American Writing (Co-editor, with Amiri Baraka) (1968)
  • Trippin': A Need for Change (Co-author, with Amiri Baraka and A. B. Spellman) (1969)


  1. ^ GAO decision - Matter of: Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services—Video News Releases (pdf) File: B-302710, May 19, 2004

External links

  • The African American Registry
  • The African American Literature Book Club – Larry Neal
  • Larry Neal - DEAD LINK as of Nov. 3, 2014

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