Black History IS American History. And the celebration and acknowledgement of Black culture goes well beyond the month of February.
We recognize through reflection the commitment of many Black Americans that were pioneers in their craft through their dedication, sacrifice and living. We celebrate the endless contributions of those past, present and future trail blazers. The Legacy Continues…
A little known Black America History, Musical Theater spotlight.
Have you heard of Bob Cole?
He was the remarkable visionary behind A Trip to Coontown, the first legitimate musical comedy written, staged, produced, and performed by African American artists, and the driving force behind both The Shoo-Fly Regiment and The Red Moon, two groundbreaking early black musicals. He was an ambitious and skillful songwriter whose turn of the century song hits include “Under the Bamboo Tree” and “Oh! Didn’t He Ramble.” He was a vaudeville headliner who twice played the Palace in London. He was a dancer, a musician, a director, a comedian, a dramatist, a craftsman, a pioneer, a star. As black author Lester A. Walton remembered, “Bob Cole was the most versatile and gifted colored artist on the stage, and his dominant thought was to elevate the race to which he belonged.”
— Theater Historian Ben West