African Company / African Grove Theatre

The African Company was the first known black theatre troupe. In 1816, William Henry Brown (1815-1884), a retired West Indian steamship steward, acquired a house on Thomas Street in lower Manhattan, New York. He offered a variety of instrumental and vocal entertainments on Sunday afternoons … Read MoreAfrican Company / African Grove Theatre

Alvin Ailey Dance Theater

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater began in 1958 in New York City, New York as a repertory company of seven African American dancers performing both Ailey’s work and also classic modern pieces. They were soon acknowledged as the preeminent dance company articulating African American … Read MoreAlvin Ailey Dance Theater

Robert “Bumps” Blackwell (1918-1985)

Robert “Bumps” Blackwell was a musician, producer, and composer who worked with the top names in early jazz and rock and roll.  Blackwell was born in Seattle, Washington on May 23, 1918.  By the late 1940s his Seattle-based “Bumps Blackwell Junior Band” featured Ray Charles … Read MoreRobert “Bumps” Blackwell (1918-1985)

Black Arts/West (1969-1980)

Black Arts/West was Seattle’s first black theatre, eventually became a nationally known entity across the United States. Evolving out of the Civil Rights-Black Power movements of the 1960s, it was founded by Douglas Q. Barnett in 1969. Black Arts/West functioned as a three component program: … Read MoreBlack Arts/West (1969-1980)