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

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

Dust Tracks on a Road typed draft sample

Typed draft with author emendations ...more

Zora Neale Hurston's Signature

"Sincerely, Zora" was Hurston's most frequent sign-off in her personal letters; the perfect encapsulation of the easy, free, and authentic persona that she was constantly constructing and… ...more

Marguerite

Published photograph of Harry Belafonte with first wife Marguerite and daughters Shari and Adrienne. The domesticity of the scene appears in contrast to some media portrayals of Belafonte… ...more

Two Page Spread on Canada Lee

This spread includes the Daily News article with the interview of Canada Lee and a picture of Canada Lee during the last scene of Native Son. This image of Lee behind bars is iconic. ...more

Langston Hughes in Carmel c. 1933

A photo of Hughes taken in 1933 on the beach in Carmel. ...more

Almanac Picture Book (back)

The back cover of a "picture book," with release timed to Harry Belafonte's performance in Almanac. The look of the photograph evokes Belafonte the stage actor, in contrast to the front… ...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