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Call Number/Catalog Number MS 0824
Title D.C. Blacks in the Arts oral history collection, 1988. (MS 0824).
Collection D.C. Blacks in the Arts oral history collection
Object Name Manuscript
Description The collection contains 15 reel-to-reel tapes that include interviews with community members. Among those interviewed are Dr. Montague W. Cobb, Lois Jones, and Todd Duncan.
Admin/Biographical History The D.C. Blacks in the Arts oral history collection chronicles the history of fine arts in the Shaw, U Street, Howard University, and LeDroit neighborhoods in Washington, D.C. The project highlights the development of the Howard Theatre, noting that it became a site for the exploration of the arts in predominately black neighborhoods. The Howard Theater was constructed in 1910 and was strategically placed in the neighborhood where street cars were accessible. At its opening in 1910 it was “the largest colored theatre in the world.” For most of the twentieth century, the Howard Theatre captivated audiences with music, dance, drama and comedy. Speakers such as Booker T. Washington shared the stage with musicians like Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holliday and Cab Calloway. The Howard Theatre provided a place for Blacks to find entertainment and community enrichment in a segregated city and nation. The theatre also provided a venue for up and coming acts to hone their skills, develop a following of fans and learn from nationally famous mentors.
Archival History Gift of the D.C. Historic Preservation Office, 1998.004. This collection was processed as part of the D.C. Africana Archives Project, a grant initiative of the George Washington University Libraries supported by the Council on Library and Information Resources.
People Jefferson, Mary
Ealey, Adolphus
Robinson, Nellis C.S.
Scott, Alfred
Jones, Doris
Jones, Lois
Cobb, Dr. Montague W.
Wesley, Dorothy P., 1905-1995
Extent .5 cubic ft. (1 container)
Level of description Fonds
Relation Show Related Records...
Finding Aids Finding aid available in repository as well as online:
System of arrangement This collection is arranged in alphabetical order by surname of interviewee.
Finding Aid Finding Aid