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)

Lorenzo “Rennie” Harris (1963- )

Rennie Harris, hip hop dancer, artist, teacher, artistic director, choreographer, and founder of Rennie Harris Puremovement (RHPM), was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1963. At the age of 15, Harris began teaching workshops and classes at universities around the country, educating the public of the … Read MoreLorenzo “Rennie” Harris (1963- )

Negro Actors Guild of America (1937- )

The Negro Actors Guild of America was founded by African American actors in 1937.  The organization was established to try to eliminate the stereotyping of African Americans in theatrical and cinematic performances.  It also stressed the need for more realistic roles for people of color, … Read MoreNegro Actors Guild of America (1937- )

Douglas Turner Ward (1930- )

Douglas Turner Ward, an actor, director, and playwright, was considered a legend in African American theatre. Although he has achieved much during his lifetime, his co-founding of the Negro Ensemble Company (NEC) in 1968 ranks as his greatest achievement. NEC has spawned over 200 productions … Read MoreDouglas Turner Ward (1930- )