About

Black Acts

Creativity and Celebrity in Twentieth-Century Theater

Created by the students of “African American Theater” in the spring of 2013, this web exhibition was borne of a desire to explore different modes of writing, to make use of the amazing resources in black theater held by the Beinecke Library at Yale University, and to share those resources as a work of public scholarship. more . . .

Featured Items

Sketch of Act I Scene 5, Harvest

Langston Hughes created overviews of each scene with information about the major themes and action. ...more

Mule Bone: A Comedy of Negro Life

The cover page of "Mule Bone," the ill-fated collaboration between Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes. As Hughes so succinctly puts it on the cover, the two did indeed "fall out," their… ...more

Mr Poitier: Uptown and Downtown

Cover and Full-length feature article in July 1963 issue of "Cosmopolitan Magazine". Full-length feature highlights Poitier’s humble beginnings and approaches his "celebrity" status… ...more

Hamburg Program

Hamburg program for the 1965 touring production of "The Amen Corner" ...more

Hughes note

Congratulatory note from Langston Hughes to Harry Belafonte, following his Tony award–winning performance in Almanac. Belafonte grew up observing the curious accessibility of celebrities… ...more

Julie

Published photograph of Harry Belafonte with fiancee (later, second wife) Julie Robinson at an event celebrating the completion of film "Carmen Jones." The photograph and caption are… ...more

Chronological Summary of San Joaquin Valley Cotton Pickers Strike

Langston Hughes and Ella Winter compiled a chronology of the 1933 cotton pickers strike in the San Joaquin Valley, using article clippings from newspapers. ...more

Draft of "Blood on the Fields" Ending

A draft ending of Langston Hughes' play Harvest (at this time known as "Blood on the Fields"). ...more

Giant strides

A 1950s article entitled "Giant Strides of U.S. Negro." The accompanying photograph speaks to the mutability of Harry Belafonte's race identity in the public eye. ...more

Recent Items

Dust Tracks on a Road typed draft sample

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Typed draft with author emendations ...more

Baldwin Portrait

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One of Carl Van Vechten's Portraits of James Baldwin ...more

Vienna Notice

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Advance copy of a Vienna notice of the 1965 touring production of "The Amen Corner" ...more

Hamburg Program

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Hamburg program for the 1965 touring production of "The Amen Corner" ...more