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

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

Photos of Canada Lee

Different depictions of Canada Lee as Bigger Thomas. Many of the more violent/poignant moments of the play are depicted through these images. ...more

Farm Owners in Order of Appearance

Langston Hughes wrestled with the individual pathologies of his characters, including the farm owners. ...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

Hughes in Carmel c. 1933

Langston Hughes poses for a portrait on the back steps of his place of residence 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

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

Typed draft with author emendations ...more

Baldwin Portrait

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

Vienna Notice

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

Hamburg Program

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