Olga (Ollie) Burgoyne (1879-1974)

Olga “Ollie” Burgoyne, also known as Ollie Burgoyne-Calloway, was a singer and dancer specializing in Russian and other ethnic dances. She was also an actress and businesswoman who gained popularity during the Harlem Renaissance and left her mark as one of the most influential African … Read MoreOlga (Ollie) Burgoyne (1879-1974)

The Colored Players (1926-1929)

The Scar of Shame Movie Title Page “Image Ownership: Public Domain” The Colored Players Film Corporation was a silent film production company based out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the early twentieth century. Though short-lived, it was able to add some much needed respectability to black … Read MoreThe Colored Players (1926-1929)

The Lafayette Players (1915-1932)

The Lafayette Players were a dramatic stock company composed entirely of African American actors.  Originally from Harlem, this first of its kind group introduced audiences to the idea that black actors were capable of taking on a variety of roles and displaying a much greater … Read MoreThe Lafayette Players (1915-1932)

William Henry/Master Juba Lane (1825-ca. 1852)

William Henry Lane is credited as one of the most influential figures in the creation of American tap dance. Lane developed a unique style of using his body as a musical instrument, blending African-derived syncopated rhythms with movements of the Irish jig and reel. Lane’s … Read MoreWilliam Henry/Master Juba Lane (1825-ca. 1852)

The Negro Ensemble Company (1967- )

The Negro Ensemble Company (NEC) was founded in New York City, New York during the summer of 1967, under the direction of actor Robert Hooks, actor, playwright, director Douglas Turner Ward, and producer, director Gerald Krone. From its beginning, NEC was criticized for its integrated … Read MoreThe Negro Ensemble Company (1967- )

American Negro Theatre (ca. 1940-1955)

Harlem Federal Theatre Project Production of MacBeth (FTP was the Predecessor to the American Negro Theater) Image Courtesy of the Library of Congress Formed by Abram Hill, Frederick O’Neal, and other actors in Harlem, New York in 1940, the American Negro Theatre (ANT) was an … Read MoreAmerican Negro Theatre (ca. 1940-1955)