Black Broadway: African-Americans on the Great White Way

Stewart F. Lane. Square One, $39.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-7570-0388-2
Filled with black-and-white photos and illustrations, this richly informative book by six-time Tony Award–winning Broadway producer Lane honors the legacy of determined African-American performers and ground-breaking productions, spanning from the polarizing early years of the minstrel shows through the vaudeville heyday of the 1880s and to the glittering Jazz Age of the 1920s, the post-World War II era of the 1950s, and the 1960s. The book, supported by a foreword by noted Broadway producer Kenny Leon, highlights such entertainers as Ira Aldridge, Bert Williams, George Walker, the Whitman sisters, Scott Joplin, Paul Robeson, Eubie Blake, Noble Sissle, Ethel Waters, Florence Mills, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Sidney Poitier, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, August Wilson, Gregory Hines, and Audra McDonald, all dedicated to altering social and political attitudes. With photo stills and original theater-bill cover art, this is a wonderful, insightful history of black theater. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/12/2015
Release date: 02/01/2015
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