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.

William Attaway (1911-1986)

William Attaway, writer and composer, was born in Greenville, Mississippi. His mother, Florence Parry Attaway, worked as a teacher and his father, William Alexander Attaway, was a doctor who helped create the National Negro Insurance Association. In the 1910s, the family moved to Chicago, Illinois. … Read MoreWilliam Attaway (1911-1986)

Powell Lindsay (1905-1987)

Powell Lindsay, actor, director, playwright, and producer, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  He attended Virginia Union University as well as the Yale University School of Drama.  At Yale, Lindsay became frustrated by the limited and often stereotypical African American roles presented by the School of … Read MorePowell Lindsay (1905-1987)

Earl “Bud” Powell (1924-1966)

Bud Powell, jazz pianist, was born Earl Powell in New York City.  His father, William Powell, worked as a building superintendent. Powell grew up surrounded by musicians, including his father, who played piano, his brother William, who played trumpet and violin, and his brother Richie, … Read MoreEarl “Bud” Powell (1924-1966)

William Everett “Billy” Preston (1946-2006)

Billy Preston, singer and musician, was born William Everett Preston in 1946 in Houston, Texas.  He lived in Houston, Texas until his family moved to Los Angeles, California in 1949.  Working as Victory Baptist Church’s organist, his mother, Robbie Preston Williams, supported Preston, his sister … Read MoreWilliam Everett “Billy” Preston (1946-2006)

Caroline Still Wiley Anderson (1848-1919)

Caroline Still Wiley Anderson, physician and educator, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to William and Letitia Still.  Supporting his family through coal mining investments and a stove store, William Still, a prominent antebellum abolitionist, helped escaped slaves on the Underground Railroad.  He wrote about these … Read MoreCaroline Still Wiley Anderson (1848-1919)

Earl Hilliard (1942- )

Earl Hilliard, lawyer, politician, and United States Representative from Alabama’s Seventh Congressional District (1993-2003), was born in Birmingham, Alabama to parents Iola Frazier and William Hilliard in 1942.  Growing up in a segregated neighborhood Hilliard graduated from Western-Olin High School in 1960 and then attended … Read MoreEarl Hilliard (1942- )

Cleo Fields (1962- )

Cleo Fields, politician, lawyer, and United States Representative from Louisiana’s Fourth Congressional District (1993-97), was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on November 22, 1962.  At four years old, Fields lost his father, Isidore Fields, a dockworker, in a car crash. His mother, Alice Fields, supported … Read MoreCleo Fields (1962- )