Ira Aldridge dreamed of being on stage one day and performing the great works of William Shakespeare. He spent every chance he had at the local theaters, memorizing each actor's lines. He knew he could be a great Shakespearean actor if only given the chance. But in the early 1800s, only white actors were allowed to perform Shakespeare. Ira's only option was to perform musical numbers at the all-black theater in New York city.
Despite being discouraged by his teacher and father, Ira determinedly pursued his dream and set off to England, the land of Shakespeare. There, Ira honed his acting skills and eventually performed at the acclaimed Theatre Royal Haymarket. Through perseverance and determination, Ira became one of the most celebrated Shakespearean actors throughout Europe.
Illustrated by award-winning artist Floyd Cooper, Ira's Shakespeare Dream is a captivating tribute to the inspiring life of Ira Aldridge, and to the renowned works of William Shakespeare.
About the Author
Floyd Cooper was a celebrated illustrator and author of nearly one hundred children's books. As a picture book creator, he strived to shed light on chapters of African American history that he felt weren't taught enough in classrooms. His works were selected as ALA Notable Children's Books, nominated for the NAACP Image Award, and honored with the Coretta Scott King (CSK) Award. He was awarded a posthumous Caldecott Honor, a CSK Award, and a Sibert Honor for his illustrations in Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre. Cooper passed away in 2021.