Introducing Bert Williams: Burnt Cork, Broadway, and the Story of America's First Black Star (First Trade Paper Edition)
By: Camille F. Forbes (author)Paperback
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According to critics of his time, Bert Williams was "the Greatest Comedian on the American Stage." A black Bahamian immigrant, Williams made his start as a barker advertising the rough-and-tumble "medicine shows" that dotted the Wild West at the end of the nineteenth century. Not long after joining a minstrel troupe and donning the burnt- cork makeup of blackface, 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. In Introducing Bert Williams, historian Camille Forbes reveals a fascinating figure, initiating the reader into the vivid world of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century popular entertainment. Williams's long and varied career is a whirlwind of drama, glamour, and ambition--nothing less than the birth of American show business.
Camille F. Forbes, historian, critic, and performer, is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Literature at the University of California, San Diego.
1 THE EARLY YEARS 1. Growing Up 2. An Unlikely Performer? 2 THE WILLIAMS AND WALKER YEARS 3. Big City, Bright Hopes 4. Rolling into Black Musical Theater 5. From Broadway to London: In Dahomey 6. First Class All the Way 3 BERT WILLIAMS--A SHOW IN HIMSELF 7. The End of an Era 8. Ziegfeld's Follies 9. Opportunity Knocks 10. War at Home and Abroad 11. Dance of Indecision 12. A Fresh Start 13. A "Legitimate" Star
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- ID: 9780465018116
First Trade Paper Edition
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