Introducing Bert Williams: Burnt Cork, Broadway, and the Story of America's First Black Star [NOOK Book]

Overview


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 ...
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Introducing Bert Williams: Burnt Cork, Broadway, and the Story of America's First Black Star

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Overview


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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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786722358
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 8/1/2008
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 1,339,763
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author


Camille F. Forbes, historian, critic, and performer, is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Literature at the University of California, San Diego.
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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2010

    Bert Williams- This book was an eye opener!

    I had never heard of Bert Williams before I read this book. It was a compelling story about a entertainer that I feel was forgotten by by world. When I read about his travels to Europe and his genious it really enlightened my about his life and the life of othe African American actors living during his time. I hope this book will be made into a film because his life is one that needs to be shown on the big screen. I feel that too much has been lost about his life. I had the opportunity to attend a screening in New York of one of his lost films and I must say that it opened my eyes to the mastery of his talent.

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