Aishah Rahman

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Aishah Rahman, born Virginia Hughes (born November 4, 1936, in New York City, died December 29, 2014, in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico), was an African-American playwright.[1]

Life and career[edit]

Rahman grew up as a foster child in Harlem and was a Professor of Literary Arts at Brown University. She taught there from 1992 to 2011. A graduate of Howard University and Goddard College, Rahman along with Amiri Baraka, Larry Neal, Sonia Sanchez and others was active in the 1960s Black Arts Movement. Her writing is described as adhering a to a "jazz aesthetic". Rahman was the author of numerous plays, including the dramas Unfinished Women Cry In No Man's Land While a Bird Dies in Gilded Cage, The Mojo and the Sayso, Only in America, Chiaroscuro and three plays with music, Lady Day A Musical Tragedy, The Tale of Madame Zora and Has Anybody Seen Marie Laveau? Her plays were produced at the Public Theatre, Ensemble Theatre, BAM and theaters and universities across the United States. She served as director of playwriting at the New Federal Theater in New York. Among her numerous fellowships, grants and awards are a special citation from the Rockefeller Foundation of the Arts for dedication to playwriting in the American Theater, The Doris Abramson Playwriting Award for The Mojo and the Sayso, and a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship.

Her plays are distributed by Broadway Play Publishing. Chewed Water: A Memoir, the story of growing up in Harlem in the 1940s and '50s, was published in 2001 by University of New England Press.


  • Chiaroscuro
  • Mingus Takes (3)
  • The Mojo And The Sayso
  • Unfinished Women Cry In No Man's Land While A Bird Dies In A Gilded Cage

(all published by Broadway Play Publishing Inc.)


  1. ^ Deborah, Weagel (2006). "Rahman, Aishah (1936-)". In Elizabeth Ann Beaulieu. Writing African American Women: An Encyclopedia of Literature by and about Women of Color. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. pp. 746–8. ISBN 0-313-33197-9. 

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