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<Theater: Companies, Education, Exhibitions, Performers, and Performances in Kentucky>

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African American Performer at Louisville (Colored) Sängerfest
Start Year : 1881
Sängerfest (or singer's festival) is a German cultural festival, first held in the United States in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1849. [Also spelled as Säengerfest.] In 1866 a festival was held in Louisville, KY; the New York Times reported it was to be the largest festival ever in the U.S. In 1881 there was a festival held at the Grand Opera House in Louisville, and included Amelia Tilghman, an African American singer, teacher, journalist, poet, and composer. Tilghman had a leading role, she was the prima donna soprano of the Sängerfest. There was objection from some Colored citizens of Louisville because the German term "Säengerfest" had been used by newspapers to name their 1881 Grand Union musical festival. The committee members of the 1881 Louisville Colored Säengerfest were William H. Gibson, president; H. C. Weeden, secretary, and N. R. Hapen, musical director. Hundreds of singers were expected to perform. For more see The Encyclopedia Britannica: a dictionary of arts, sciences, literature, and general information, volume VI, by H. Chisholm (1910) [available online via Google Book Search]; "The Louisville Sangerfest," New York Times, 07/20/1866, p. 5; Amelia Tilghman in Piano Music by Black women composers, by H. Walker-Hill; The Music of Black Americans: a history, by E. Southern; "Louisville Saengerfest," People's Advocate, 01/29/1881, p.1; and "Louisville item. The Saengerfest," People's Advocate, 05/14/1881, p.2.
Subjects: Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Theater: Companies, Education, Exhibitions, Performers, and Performances in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

African American Theater Buildings in Kentucky
Start Year : 1900
End Year : 1955
Of the more than 1,500 theaters listed within the title African American Theater Buildings by Eric L. Smith, a few were located in nine Kentucky cities between 1900-1955. The theaters were managed by both African Americans and whites, and the predominate clientele were African Americans. The theaters in Kentucky were:

  • Frankfort - Kentucky State College Theater, picture house
  • Henderson - Doxy Theater, picture house
  • Lexington - Ada Meade, Lyric Theater, and Orpheum Theater, all picture houses
  • Louisville - Dixie Theater, Grand Theater, and Lyric Theater, picture houses. Lincoln Theater, and Palace Theater, both picture houses and vaudeville. Ruby Theater and Victory Theater were both vaudeville
  • Mayfield - Unique Theater, picture house
  • Owensboro - Plaza Theater, picture house
  • Paducah - Hiawatha Theater, picture house
  • Pikesville - Liberty Theater, picture house [may be Pikeville, KY]
  • Winchester - Lincoln Theater, picture house
Texas, Florida, and North Carolina were the states with the most African American theater buildings. Also included in E. L. Smith's book is a listing of African American drive-in theaters, all were in the South.
See photo image of the Lyric Theater in Lexington, KY, 12/09/1948, at Kentucky Digital Library - Images.
Subjects: Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers, Theater: Companies, Education, Exhibitions, Performers, and Performances in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Kentucky: Frankfort, Franklin County / Henderson, Henderson County / Lexington, Fayette County / Louisville, Jefferson County / Mayfield, Graves County / Owensboro, Daviess County / Paducah, McCracken County / Pikeville, Pike County / Winchester, Clark C

Colored Statue Performer
Start Year : 1885
It was reported in the New York Clipper newspaper that Charles "Barney" Hicks, manager of Kersands' Colored Minstrels, introduced the first colored statue performer, Apollo, on the minstrel stage in Louisville, KY. Hicks was the first African American to organize a company of African American minstrels; in 1865 the group of ex-slaves was known as the Georgia Minstrels. For more about the statue performer see the New York Clipper, 6/20/1885. For more on Charles Hicks see The Ghost Walks; a chronological history of blacks in show business, 1865-1910, by H. T. Sampson.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers, Theater: Companies, Education, Exhibitions, Performers, and Performances in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Compton, J. Glover
Birth Year : 1884
Death Year : 1964
J. Glover Compton, born in Harrodsburg, KY, was a noted ragtime jazz pianist and entertainer. He was the husband and, for a time, musical partner of vocalist Nettie Lewis. Beginning in 1902, Compton performed in the theater in Louisville, KY. He moved on to Chicago in 1910, where he later led the band known as J. Glover Compton and the Syncopaters. Compton had at one time worked with the Whitman Sisters before traveling abroad. In 1928, while in Paris, France, Compton took a bullet in the leg when a disagreement erupted between musicians Sidney Bechet and Mike McKendrick and the two exchanged gunfire. Two pedestrians were also shot, but no one was killed. Compton had been traveling in Europe for a couple of years with the Palm Beach Six when the group settled in Paris, and Compton later worked with Crickett Smith. On the day of the shooting, Compton, said to be the instigator, reported that Bechet had fired the first shot. Compton was McKendrick's friend. Both Bechet and McKendrick were arrested and sentenced to 15 months in jail. They later settled their differences, but Bechet, who lived the last decade of his life in Paris, never forgave Compton. In 1939, Compton returned to the U.S. and performed again in Chicago with Jimmie Noone. In the 1950s, he owned and operated a bar in Chicago. J. Glover Compton was the son of Laura L. Bowman Compton and John Glover Compton, Sr. [source: 1900 U.S. Federal Census and Illinois, Deaths and Stillbirths Index]. For more see "No one in any big time way" in Some Hustling This!, by M. Miller; and the J. Glover Compton Biography, by E. Chadbourne at Answer.com.
Subjects: Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Theater: Companies, Education, Exhibitions, Performers, and Performances in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Harrodsburg, Mercer County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois / Paris, France, Europe

Cooper, Priscilla Hancock
Birth Year : 1952
Born in Louisville, KY, Priscilla Cooper became a poet/performer, author, and teacher. As a teenager, she worked for the Louisville Defender newspaper. She is a graduate of Lincoln University of Missouri and American University Washington, D. C. Her first volume of poetry, Call Me Black Woman, was published in 1993. Cooper has numerous publications and productions and has edited three anthologies. She also teaches writing. She and Dhana Bradley-Morton founded the Theater Workshop of Louisville. They have also presented creative collaborations, the first of which was a poetic concert in 1981, I Have Been Hungry All of My Years. This was followed by Four Women and God's Trombones, and they also performed in Amazing Grace in 1993. Both are featured in the KET Production, Words Like Freedom/Sturdy Black Bridges, a poetic concert featuring African-American writing and music. Since 1998, Cooper has been the teacher of the Anti-violence Creative Writing Program, "Writing Our Stories," sponsored by the Alabama Department of Youth Services and the Alabama Writers Forum. In 2005, Cooper was awarded the Individual Artist Fellowship in Literature by the Alabama State Council. In 2006, she received the Coming Up Taller Award by the U.S. President's Committee in the Arts and Humanities. Cooper is the vice president of Institutional Programs at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. For more see B. Brady, "Architecturally Sound," CityBeat, vol. 6, issue no. 33, 2000; and Meet Priscilla Hancock, a Red Mountain Theatre Company website.

See photo image of Priscilla Hancock Cooper at Red Mountain Theatre Company website.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Authors, Education and Educators, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Poets, Migration South, Theater: Companies, Education, Exhibitions, Performers, and Performances in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Birmingham, Alabama

Coxe, Gloucester C.
Birth Year : 1907
Death Year : 1999
Gloucester Coxe resided in Louisville; he was a native of Carlisle, PA. His parents were accomplished watercolorists. He was a display artist for the Lyric and Grand (Colored) Theaters and an illustrator at the Fort Knox Training Aid Center, from which he retired after 20 years. He continued to paint and produced a series of creative works, including the Ebony, Gemini, and Mandela series. For more see interviews and other materials in the University of Louisville Art Library; and "Gloucester Coxe, 92," Lexington Herald-Leader, Obituaries section, p. B2.
Subjects: Artists, Fine Arts, Migration South, Theater: Companies, Education, Exhibitions, Performers, and Performances in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Carlisle, Pennsylvania / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Dearing, J. Earl
Birth Year : 1921
Death Year : 1969
J. Earl Dearing was the first African American to be appointed deputy clerk of the police court in Jefferson County. He later won the primary for a circuit court judgeship but died before the general election. He advocated outlawing segregation in public accommodations after he and his son were not allowed to view Bambi at a movie theater. For more see The Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. by J. E. Kleber.

See photo image of J. Earl Dearing at Hall of Fame 2000, a Kentucky Commission on Human Rights website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Judges, Theater: Companies, Education, Exhibitions, Performers, and Performances in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Early African American Theaters in Lexington, KY
The Frolic Theater, operated by an African American, opened in 1907 and closed in 1910. In 1910, the Gem Theater opened, closing by 1916; the Gem had films and live entertainment and was part of the vaudeville circuit. The Pekin Theatre at 415 West Main Street, owned by Gray Combs, was also in operation in 1910. Of the six movie theaters in downtown Lexington, four allowed African Americans to sit in the segregated balcony seats. In 1947, the American Theater Corporation in Indianapolis opened the Lyric Theatre at the corner of Third Street and Elm Tree Lane in Lexington. When the theater opened, it was billed as "the nation's finest colored theater." There were movies and live entertainment from greats such as Big Maybelle, the Oreos, Dizzy Gillespie, Cab Calloway, and many others. The Lyric Theater closed in 1963, but the building is still standing, though in disrepair. For more see C. T. Dunn's Gaines Fellowship Senior Thesis, Finding Voice for the Lyric Theater: an Oral History; Brazley and Brazley, Inc., the unpublished Research for the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, Survey and History of the Lyric Theatre; G. A. Waller, Main Street Amusements: movies and commercial entertainment in a Southern city, 1896-1930; articles in the Lexington newspapers: the Herald, the Leader, and the Lexington Herald-Leader; and H. T. Sampson, The Ghost Walks; a chronological history of blacks in show business, 1865-1910.

See photo image of the Lyric Theatre and additional information at the Lyric website.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers, Theater: Companies, Education, Exhibitions, Performers, and Performances in Kentucky, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Early African American Theaters in Louisville, KY
The first African American moving picture theater in Louisville was opened by Edward Lee in 1908, located at 13th and Walnut Streets. Lee also owned the Taft Theatre at 1314 Cedar Street and The New Odd Fellows Theatre that opened in 1908. The New Tick Houston Theatre on Walnut Street between Ninth and Tenth Streets was opened to African Americans in 1910. This information comes from The Ghost Walks; a chronological history of blacks in show business, 1865-1910, by H. T. Sampson.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers, Theater: Companies, Education, Exhibitions, Performers, and Performances in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

George, S. H.
Birth Year : 1878
Death Year : 1936
S. H. George was considered a wealthy physician, politician, and business man in Paducah, KY. He was born in Kentucky. His mother died when he was three years old, and S. H. George was forced to earn his way at an early age. He was a school teacher for several years, and later graduated from Walden University (TN) and Meharry Medical College. He returned to Paducah and opened his medical practice, and is listed in the 1910 U.S. Federal Census. He was the husband of Nettie McClaine (1889-1935), who was born in Decatur County, TN. Nettie was a trained nurse. The couple shared their home with Nettie's mother Susan Jobe Hoskin, according to the 1930 U.S. Federal Census. Dr. George was involved in several businesses, including a skating rink. August 1909, during the Emancipation Day celebration, Dr. George charged Daniel Hopwood with trying to pass a bad dollar at the Paducah Colored Skating Rink, located at 10th and Broadway; the rink was in financial trouble in 1909. The counterfeiting case against Hopwood was dismissed from the Paducah courts due to insufficient evidence. Several years later, Dr. George was a Kentucky delegate to the Republican National Convention. His first term was in 1920; the Kentucky Republican State Convention had been undecided as to which African American would be a delegate-at-large, and after a four hour discussion, Dr. George was selected. Also in 1920, Dr. George was co-owner of the newly incorporated Home Drug Company in Paducah. The other two owners were John W. Egester and C. M. Bolden. That same year, Dr. George was owner and manager of the Hiawatha Theater, a picture house at 432 S. 7th Street in Paducah. He paid $10,000 for the business. In 1927, in Washington D.C., Dr. S. H. George was re-elected Grand Esteemed Leading Knight of the Improved Benevolent and Protective Order Of Elks of the World (IBPOEW); he was a Mason, an Odd Fellow, a Pythian, a member of the Court of Calanthe, and vice president of the Pythian Mutual Industrial Association of Kentucky. In 1928, he was again a Republican National Convention delegate. Dr. S. H. George died June 23, 1936, his death notice is on p.155 in An Economic Detour by M. S. Stuart. Dr. George was a founding member, a stockholder, and a 21-year elected member of the board of directors of the Mammoth Life and Accident Insurance Company. For more see "Pick Kentucky delegates," New York Times, 03/04/1920, p.17; "No conviction in counterfeiting cases," The Paducah Evening Sun, 08/17/1909, p.3; see "S. H. George..." on p.16 in NARD Journal, v.30, 1920; African American Theater Buildings by E. L. Smith; "J. F. Wilson re-elected head of Negro Elks," The New York Times, 08/26/1927, p.14; and see S. H. George in The National Cyclopedia of the Colored Race edited by C. Richardson [available online at Internet Archive].
Subjects: Businesses, Insurance Companies, Insurance Sales, Medical Field, Health Care, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Fraternal Organizations, Pharmacists, Pharmacies, Skating Rinks, Theater: Companies, Education, Exhibitions, Performers, and Performances in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

Hattie Winston African American Scripts and Screenplays Collection
Start Year : 1998
The Hattie Winston Collection contains scripts and screenplays written mostly by African American writers. Many are unpublished, collected over the course of Hattie Winston's career and donated to the University of Louisville (U of L). Winston is an actress and producer who established the collection in 1998 to support the work of Lundeanna Thomas and the African American Theatre Program at the University of Louisville. One of Winston's many television roles was that of nurse Margaret on Becker (1998-2004). The Hattie Winston collection is available at the U of L Libraries' Special Collections. See Hattie Winston Biography at the HistoryMakers website.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Theater: Companies, Education, Exhibitions, Performers, and Performances in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Hippodrome Theater, Frankfort, KY
Start Year : 1913
End Year : 1913
The Hippodrome Theater in Frankfort, KY, located on Washington Street, was the only colored theater in the city in 1913, according to an article in The Freeman, 06/21/1913, p1, by journalist Hardin Tolbert. The facility was described as "the new moving picture playhouse opposite the Odd Fellows' Hall." "The management will put on home talent vaudeville. Large crowds are in attendance nightly." The theater may have been a short lived investment; there is no listing for the Hippodrome or a colored theater in Caron's Directory of the City of Frankfort, Ky for 1914-1915-1916.
Subjects: Theater: Companies, Education, Exhibitions, Performers, and Performances in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Jones, Carridder "Rita"
Carridder Jones was born in South Carolina and lived in Indiana before moving to Kentucky. A playwright and historian, Jones's research has included African American communities in Kentucky, especially the black hamlets in Lexington and Louisville. Her play, "Black Hamlets in the Kentucky Bluegrass," was a finalist in the New York Drama League's New Works Project in 2002. Another of her plays, "The Mark of Cain," was chosen by the University of Louisville's African-American theater program for the Second Annual Juneteenth Festival of New Works. She has presented her research at conferences, programs, workshops, and as productions. She is the co-founder and Director of Women Who Write. In 2006, Jones received the Sallie Bingham Award. She is author of the 2009 book A Backward Glance. For more see "Free Black Hamlets," Courier Journal (Louisville) News, 04/19/04; and "Filmmakers hope to save Bluegrass freetowns," Lexington Herald Leader, 08/10/03.

See photo image and additional information about Carridder Jones at the Oldham County History Center website, 2009.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Artists, Fine Arts, Authors, Historians, Migration West, Emancipation Day / Juneteenth Celebrations, Women's Groups and Organizations, Theater: Companies, Education, Exhibitions, Performers, and Performances in Kentucky
Geographic Region: South Carolina / Indiana / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Juneteenth Legacy Theatre
Birth Year : 1999
Death Year : 2010
Beginning in 199, the Juneteenth Legacy Theatre Company performed in Louisville, KY, and New York City. One of the company's major events was the Juneteenth Jamboree, an annual festival that ran for three weeks during the summer (hosted by Actors Theatre in Louisville). The company was "Kentucky's Only Professional African American Theatre Company!" The production history is available on the "About JLT" web page along with the troupe's "Mission: To entertain, to educate, to enrich and to empower communities through the telling of stories about the African-American experience in historical and contemporary contexts." It was announced in 2010 that the Juneteenth Legacy Theatre in Louisville would be ending. For more information contact the Juneteenth Legacy Theatre; K. Neuhauser, "Juneteenth Legacy is closing its curtains," Courier-Journal, 05/31/2010, p. D1.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Emancipation Day / Juneteenth Celebrations, Theater: Companies, Education, Exhibitions, Performers, and Performances in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / New York City, New York

Kentucky State College Players
Start Year : 1940
End Year : 1993
A brief entry about the Kentucky Players, a college theatre group, can be found in The African American Theatre Directory, 1816-1960, by B. L. Peterson. According to the author, the group produced some "excellent" plays between the 1940s and 1993, including Sleeping Dogs and A Woman's Privilege. For more information, contact Kentucky State University - CESKAA.

 

  See photo images of the Kentucky State College on p.53 in the Kentucky State College 1965 Thorobred yearbook.
Subjects: Artists, Fine Arts, Theater: Companies, Education, Exhibitions, Performers, and Performances in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Knights of Pythias Temple (Louisville, KY)
Start Year : 1893
Two African American Knights of Pythias lodges are listed in the 1893 Louisville City Directory. The Temple at 928-932 West Chestnut Street, built in 1914-1915 at a cost of $130,000, served as the Knights' headquarters and housed a drugstore, movie theater, offices, a restaurant, and hotel rooms for men. The ballroom on the sixth floor and the garden on the roof were used for parties and dances. In 1925, 25,000  attendees came to Louisville for the National Pythian Convention. In 1953, the building was sold to the Chestnut Street YMCA. The building, still in use today, is located across the street from the Western Branch Library. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. The building also has a Kentucky Historical Marker (#1662). For more see marker #1662 in the Kentucky Historical Marker Database; and Black Heritage Sites: an African American Odyssey and Finder's Guide, by N. C. Curtis.
Subjects: Businesses, Civic Leaders, Fraternal Organizations, YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association), Theater: Companies, Education, Exhibitions, Performers, and Performances in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Louisville (KY) African American Film and Video Festival
Start Year : 2005
The two day festival was first held May 28-29, 2005, at the Kentucky Theatre in downtown Louisville, KY. All of the films were independently produced. For more about the festival see L. Muhammad, "Black images: Festival focuses on African-American films," Courier-Journal (Louisville), 05/27/05, Metro section.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Theater: Companies, Education, Exhibitions, Performers, and Performances in Kentucky, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Magowan, James E.
Birth Year : 1870
Death Year : 1933
The following information comes from the James E. Magowan archival file at the Montgomery County Historical Society and Museum in Mt. Sterling, KY. James E. Magowan was a successful businessman and a community leader. He was born in Montgomery County, the son of Amanda and John Wesley Magowan, and a brother of John, Noah, Susan, and Emily Magowan. The family lived in Smithville, KY. James Magowan, his brothers, and sister, Susan, all attended the Academy at Berea. As an adult, James Magowan was a real estate agent, loans and collecting agent, notary public, carpenter, contractor, and owner of the Magowan Theater and the colored skating rink in Mt. Sterling. James Magowan developed the Lincoln View Cemetery next to Olive Hill Cemetery in Smithville. The Lincoln View Cemetery opened on April 1, 1929, with James Magowan as president, his son, Jesse E., 1st vice president, and his wife, Lizzie, his daughter, Sarah, and his son-in-law and daughter, Watson D. Banks and Estella Magowan Banks, board members. James Magowan established a subdivision for African Americans next to the cemetery, and he owned and managed the waterline to the homes, charging a monthly fee for the service. He established the Mt. Sterling Colored Fair Association in 1909. He was owner of the James E. Magowan Grocery Store, which was located within the J. E. Magowan Hall (built in 1914) at the corner of East Locust and Fox Streets. James Magowan leased-out the grocery store and other space within the building. Additional information about James E. Magowan comes from "Achievements of the late James E. Magowan" on pp. 23-24 in Montgomery County Kentucky Bicentennial, 1774-1974, by S. A. Harris. James E. Magowan was a school teacher for six years. He led the effort to extend the gas line into Smithville, and in 1915 he was president of the organization that had a sidewalk completed from the city limits of Mt. Sterling to the entrance of Olive Hill Cemetery. James Avenue in Mt. Sterling was named in his honor. James E. Magowan is buried in the Lincoln View Cemetery in Mt. Sterling, KY.
Subjects: Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Businesses, Civic Leaders, Communities, Construction, Contractors, Builders, Education and Educators, Colored Fairs & Black Expos, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Carpenters, Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments, Notary Public, Skating Rinks, Theater: Companies, Education, Exhibitions, Performers, and Performances in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Mount Sterling and Smithville, Montgomery County, Kentucky

McCoo, Edward Jordan (the first)
Birth Year : 1882
Death Year : 1930
McCoo was a minister at the AME Church in Newport, KY. He is recognized for writing, publishing, and producing the play Ethiopia at the Bar of Justice. The play was first performed at the General Conference of the AME Church in Louisville, KY, May 1924. It would gain popularity and become a must-see during Negro History Week. The 24 page play was published in Memphis. McCoo was born in Alabama, the son of William and Elizabeth McCoo, and he died of tuberculosis in Newport, KY, and was buried in Cincinnati, OH, according to his death certificate. He was married to Jennie McCoo and the couple lived at 210 W. 7th Street in Newport, KY. McCoo and his first wife, Lillian (b.1884 in IL), and their two children, had lived in Springfield and Chicago, IL, prior to his move to Kentucky some time after 1920. For more see "[Edwin] McCoo" on p. xxxiv in Plays and Pageants from the Life of the Negro, by W. Richardson.
Subjects: Artists, Fine Arts, Authors, Kentucky African American Churches, Migration North, Tuberculosis: Care and Deaths, Theater: Companies, Education, Exhibitions, Performers, and Performances in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Alabama / Newport, Campbell County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Oliver Scott's Refined Negro Minstrels
Start Year : 1890
End Year : 1904
The company had previously been the A. G. Field's Colored Minstrels; Oliver Scott purchased the company in the 1890s. The company did not originate in Kentucky but disbanded in Middlesboro, KY, in 1904. "While the show was in progress, the manager caught the 9:30 train and left town, owing 22 people two weeks' salary." For more see The Ghost Walks: a chronological history of blacks in show business, 1865-1910, by H. T. Sampson. View a theatrical poster of Oliver Scott's Refined Negro Minstrels at the Library of Congress (image may be enlarged).


Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Businesses, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Railroad, Railway, Trains, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers, Theater: Companies, Education, Exhibitions, Performers, and Performances in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Middlesboro, Bell County, Kentucky

White, Albert S., Sr. and Sally J. Seals
Albert S. White, Sr. (1869-1911), was born in Kentucky, the son of Albert and Jane Buckner White. He was an attorney and dean of Louisville (KY) Central Law School, where he served from 1896-1911. He fought for African American voting rights; when White and others insisted on voting in the 1890s, they were beaten by Louisville police officers. White was a graduate of State University [Simmons, KY] and Howard University Law School. In 1902 he was appointed a U.S. Revenue Agent following the election of Kentucky's first Republican governor, William O. Bradley. White was unsuccessful in his quest to be named the Minister to Liberia. He was killed by Louis A. Evans in a dispute over the removal of personal belongings at the Lyric Theater, located at 13th and Walnut Streets in Louisville. His wife, Sally J. Seals White (b.1868 or 1871 in KY), was the first woman to graduate from Central Law School, where she was also an instructor. In 1904, she became the first African American woman to be admitted to the Kentucky Bar. White had a bachelor's degree from Fisk University. For more see Central Law School Alumni Information, a University of Louisville website; C. B. Lewis, "Louisville and its Afro-American citizens," Colored American Magazine, vol. 10 (no.3-4), pp. 259-265; Life Behind a Veil, by G.C. Wright; Emancipation: the making of the Black Lawyer, 1844-1944, by J. C. Smith; "Negro woman admitted to bar...," The Landmark, 09/23/1904, p. 3 (also in Marshall Expounder, 09/23/1904, p. 2); and "Albert S. White is shot to death," Lexington Leader, 07/22/1911, p.8. See also the entry for Central Law School.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Voting Rights, Lawyers, Appointments by Kentucky Governors, Higher Education Before Desegregation, Kentucky, Theater: Companies, Education, Exhibitions, Performers, and Performances in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

 

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