Drawing on theoretical work within cultural geography relating to the dialectical relationship between society and space, this essay examines both the racialized nature of internally colonized space for African Americans and their desire for decolonization as reflected in three plays by African American writers: Langston Hughes" Mulatto, Amiri Baraka"s Slave Ship, and Suzan-Lori Parks" Topdog/Underdog. It is argued that spatial divisions function as a determining factor in confining African Americans within the internally colonized space that is exemplified by these writers in such oppressive spaces as a plantation, a slave ship, or the claustrophobic room for Lincoln and Booth. Whites" concept of space also works for controlling African Americans in terms of race, power, and internal colonization. However, instead of accepting their confinement within their "appropriate" space, African Americans struggle against the white oppressive system that functions to produce and reproduce black space. Their politics of decolonization are ultimately directed toward resistance to oppression and confinement through the differentiated distance of space. While exposing the mechanism of whites" spatial dominance, this reading therefore explores African Americans" strategies for obtaining the freedom they need in order to "live out" as autonomous subjects in their everyday life.
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