Michelle Granshaw

Student Historian

Michelle Granshaw is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Theatre Arts at the University of Pittsburgh. She received her PhD in Theatre History, Theory, and Criticism from the University of Washington, MA in Theatre and Performance Studies from the University of Maryland, and BA in History and Theatre History, Dramatic Literature, and Cinema from New York University. Her research interests include American and Irish theatre and popular entertainment, diaspora and global performance histories, performance and the working class, and historiography.  Dr. Granshaw’s articles have appeared in Theatre Survey, Nineteenth Century Theatre and Film, Journal of American Drama and Theatre, Theatre Topics, and the New England Theatre Journal. For more information, please see her full bio here.

Black Swan Records (1921-1923)

Black Swan Records was the first black-owned recording company that sold popular music to black audiences. Black Swan Records specialized in jazz and blues recordings but it also became the first company to record black classical musicians. During its brief existence from 1921 and 1923, … Read MoreBlack Swan Records (1921-1923)

Godfrey Cambridge (1933-1976)

Image Ownership: Public Domain Godfrey MacArthur Cambridge, actor and comedian, was born in New York City in 1933.  His father Alexander Cambridge and his mother Sarah Cambridge were born in British Guiana.  They moved to Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada and then Harlem, New York.  Before … Read MoreGodfrey Cambridge (1933-1976)

The Mills Brothers (1925-1982)

Mills Brothers with Unidentified Man in Center. Image Courtsey of New York World’s Fair 1939-1040 Records, Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations. The Mills Brothers, a musical quartet, originally featured John Jr. (b. 1910), Herbert (b. 1912), … Read MoreThe Mills Brothers (1925-1982)

Ink Spots (1932-1953)

Image Courtesy of the University of New Hampshire The Ink Spots, a musical quartet, originally included members Orville “Hoppy” Jones, Ivory “Deek” Watson, Jerry Daniels, and Charlie Fuqua. Some accounts claim Slim Greene also was a founding member. Influenced by the Mills Brothers, all four … Read MoreInk Spots (1932-1953)

Thelma “Butterfly” McQueen (1911-1995)

Actress Thelma “Butterfly” McQueen was born in Tampa, Florida on January 8, 1911. Her father, Wallace McQueen, worked as a stevedore and her mother, Mary Richardson, was a housekeeper and domestic worker. After McQueen’s parents separated, her mother moved from job to job and McQueen … Read MoreThelma “Butterfly” McQueen (1911-1995)