Coverart for item
The Resource Introducing Bert Williams : burnt cork, Broadway, and the story of America's first Black star, Camille F. Forbes

Introducing Bert Williams : burnt cork, Broadway, and the story of America's first Black star, Camille F. Forbes

Label
Introducing Bert Williams : burnt cork, Broadway, and the story of America's first Black star
Title
Introducing Bert Williams
Title remainder
burnt cork, Broadway, and the story of America's first Black star
Statement of responsibility
Camille F. Forbes
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
"Lost though he is to the annals of popular culture, Bert Williams was, according to critics of his time, nothing less than "The Greatest Comedian on the American Stage." A black Bahamian immigrant, Williams made his start at the ground floor of show business, learning to captivate audiences as a barker advertising the rough-and-tumble "medicine shows" that dotted the Wild West at the end of the nineteenth century. His break came when he was discovered in San Francisco circa 1893 by a minstrel troupe manager. He donned the burnt cork makeup of blackface, and swiftly became a regular player in the troupe. Not long after, he teamed up with African American George Walker in a sixteen-year partnership that would take them from rural western mining towns to the bright lights of Broadway, starring as Williams and Walker." "When tragedy struck in 1909, Williams pursued a solo career, rising through the ranks of big-time vaudeville in New York City, and ascending to the previously lily-white exemplar of Broadway glamour: the Ziegfeld Follies. But despite his triumphs - many of which were achieved in the face of virulent organized opposition - he was viewed with both critical suspicion as well as admiration by the black community." "Modest, private, and cautious in his personal life, he left political activism to others, allowing his trailblazing achievements to speak for themselves." "Introducing Bert Williams reveals a fascinating figure, initiating the reader into the vivid world of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century popular entertainment. The story of Williams's long and varied career is a whirlwind of drama, glamour, and ambition - nothing less than the birth of American show business. This moving biography illuminates the fraught issues surrounding race and artistic expression in American culture, from Tin Pan Alley to the early motion picture industry."--BOOK JACKET
Biography type
individual biography
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Forbes, Camille F
Illustrations
illustrations
Index
index present
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Williams, Bert
  • Williams, Bert
  • Entertainers
  • African American entertainers
  • African American entertainers
  • Entertainers
  • United States
Label
Introducing Bert Williams : burnt cork, Broadway, and the story of America's first Black star, Camille F. Forbes
Instantiates
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 339-388) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
Black musical theater -- From Broadway to London: "In Dahomey" -- First class all the way -- Ziegfield's Follies -- War at home and abroad -- Dance of indecision -- A "legitimate" star
Control code
ocn162501986
Dimensions
25 cm
Extent
xii, 404 pages
Isbn
9780465024797
Lccn
2007031620
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations
Label
Introducing Bert Williams : burnt cork, Broadway, and the story of America's first Black star, Camille F. Forbes
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 339-388) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
Black musical theater -- From Broadway to London: "In Dahomey" -- First class all the way -- Ziegfield's Follies -- War at home and abroad -- Dance of indecision -- A "legitimate" star
Control code
ocn162501986
Dimensions
25 cm
Extent
xii, 404 pages
Isbn
9780465024797
Lccn
2007031620
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations

Library Locations

    • Francis A. Gregory LibraryBorrow it
      3660 Alabama Ave. SE, Washington, DC, 20020, US
      38.8648665 -76.9542163
    • Shepherd Park (Juanita E. Thornton) LibraryBorrow it
      7420 Georgia Ave. NW, Washington, DC, 20012, US
      38.9803141 -77.026951
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