African American Theater

The Prince and the Actress: When Florence Met George

Though African American performers dazzled British society and its royals since the days of Walker and Williams (who brought their minstrel revues to English shores in the early 1900s), and performers like Aida Overton Walker, Sissieretta Jones, and others were viewed as the epitome of Black glamour–there was something different about Florence Mills. The magnetic …

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Women

Fascinating Women: Gibson Girls Gone Wild!

In February I will be boarding a plane for Manila. It will take me 24 hours airport to airport, and that will feel like a long time. I will probably complain about how tired I am, or how small airline seats have become. Both will be true. But my Edwardian sisters—known as “Gibson girls” after popular illustrator …

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African American

Fascinating Women: Bessie Smith and the Blues

Many music historians–and historians in general–consider the musical genres that emerged from African-American communities at the turn of the century to be the first authentically “American” style of music. Ragtime, blues, jazz, and the like are also considered the soundtrack of early twentieth century American life, and the combination of the popular press, new technologies …

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