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

Post teaser

A teaser add published in the New York Post. Its text and graphic suggest the degree to which Harry Belafonte's rise to fame was regarded as anomalous. ...more

Photo version 2

Another use of a photograph used as accompanying graphic for a teaser add published in the New York Post. A comparison between the two suggests the degree to which Belafonte's celebrity… ...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

Cotton Club Program

This Cotton Club program from a 1933 performance gives a clear depiction of the type of wealthy white theater goers that were meant to attend the Cotton Club and Ethel Waters performances. ...more

Vienna Newspaper Article

Viennese newspaper review of the 1965 tour of "The Amen Corner" ...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

Murder Scene in Native Son

This image includes a photo of the murder scene in Native Son. Bigger Thomas (Canada Lee) smothers the drunk Mary Dalton (Anne Burr) in an effort to keep her quiet about his presence in her… ...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