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Lennox Raphael

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Title: Lennox Raphael  
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Subject: Trinidad and Tobago dramatists and playwrights, Teachers & Writers Collaborative, Bibliography of Che Guevara, Black Arts Movement, 1939 births
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Lennox Raphael

Lennox Raphael
Born 1939 (age 76–77)
Trinidad, West Indies
Occupation journalist, poet, playwright
Nationality Trinidadian
Notable works Che!

Lennox Raphael (b. 1939 in Trinidad, West Indies) is a journalist, poet, and playwright. His writings have been published in Negro Digest,[1] American Dialog,[2] New Black Poetry,[3] Natural Process[4] and Freedomways.[5] A long-time resident of New York City, Raphael currently lives in Copenhagen, Denmark.


  • Biography 1
    • Journalism 1.1
    • Theatre 1.2
  • References 2


Raphael worked as a reporter in Jamaica before first coming to the United States as a U.N. correspondent.[6] He also became a staff writer for the underground newspaper the East Village Other,[7] and an editor of Umbra, a poetry journal based in New York.[3]

In 1969 Raphael worked as a writer in the schools with the Teachers & Writers Collaborative at P.S. 26 in Brooklyn, New York.[8]


In his journalism Raphael has explored the relationship between black West Indian immigrants to the United States and the longer established African-American community. He points out that, in the 1960s, although there was a need for West Indian immigrants to show solidarity with African-Americans,[9] many of those immigrants felt themselves to be superior to American-born blacks.[10]


Raphael's best-known play is Che!, which presents Che Guevara as a hero who was the object of sexually-motivated envy by his enemies, including the President of the United States.[11] The play featured scenes of nudity and explicit sex, and, soon after it opened in New York City in 1969, was closed by the Public Morals Police Squad of New York City, with Raphael being arrested along with the actors and director. It reopened after a judge ruled that the play was protected by the free speech provisions of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.[12] In February 1970 the Manhattan Criminal Court found Raphael, along with the cast, producer and set designer, "guilty beyond any reasonable doubt of participating in an obscene performance which predominantly appealed and pandered to prurient interest and went beyond the customary limits of candor in presenting profanity, filth, defecation, masochism, sadism, masturbation, nudity, copulation, sodomy and other devaite sexual intercourse".[13]

Raphael's next play, Blue Soap, avoided such problems by restricting any sexual content to the dialogue.[14]


  1. ^ Jones, R. Clifford (2006). James K. Humphrey and the Sabbath-Day Adventists.  
  2. ^  
  3. ^ a b Otte, George; Linda J. Palumbo (1990). Casts of Thought: writing in and against tradition.  
  4. ^ "Pride And Militancy Reflected In Poems".  
  5. ^ Sánchez, Marta Ester (2005). "Shakin' Up" Race and Gender: intercultural connections in Puerto Rican, African American, and Chicano narratives and culture (1965-1995).  
  6. ^ "About Our Contributors". Negro Digest. April 1965. p. 80. 
  7. ^  
  8. ^  
  9. ^ Lewis, Harold T. (1996). Yet With a Steady Beat: the African American struggle for recognition in the Episcopal Church.  
  10. ^ Jones, R. Clifford (2006). James K. Humphrey and the Sabbath-Day Adventists.  
  11. ^ Brockett, Oscar Gross (1971). Perspectives on Contemporary Theatre.  
  12. ^  
  13. ^ Houchin, John H. (2003). Censorship of the American Theatre in the Twentieth Century.  
  14. ^ Brukenfeld, Dick (September 17, 1970). "off-off".  
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