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Introducing Bert Williams

Introducing Bert Williams

Burnt Cork, Broadway, and the Story of America's First Black Star

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.

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Genre: Nonfiction / Performing Arts / Theater / History & Criticism

On Sale: August 1st 2008

Price: $12.99 / $16.99 (CAD)

Page Count: 416

ISBN-13: 9780786722358

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