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David Bradford

an actress, and theatrical producer, was born in Washington, DC. The names of her father, a tailor, and her mother are unknown.

Known as “The Little Mother of Colored Drama,” Anita Bush was an unlikely, though enormously influential, pioneer of African American dramatic theater. Bush was born in Washington, DC, and moved with her family to Brooklyn, New York, when she was two. Her father was a tailor with many show business customers. Bush and her sister helped to deliver costumes, and both became captivated by the theater. While still a child, Bush landed bit parts in plays at the Bijou and Columbia theaters in Brooklyn and the Park Theatre in Manhattan. She later told an interviewer she “fell in love with grease paint, costumes, backstage drama,” (Thompson, 1987, p. 60) and that she was determined to make a career in show business.

Among the show business ...


Melinda Bond Shreve

performer, entrepreneur, and cultural leader, was born in east St. Louis, Illinois, to Fred L. and Lila B. Teer. Teer has been recognized for her exceptional talent as a dancer and actress, and most notably for founding the National Black Theatre, located in Harlem, New York, on historic 125th Street.

Teer was born into a family that was well known as both educators and community leaders. Her parents provided a nurturing home environment for her and her older sister Fredrica and they both went on to excel.

Teer graduated from Lincoln High School at age fifteen. She studied at Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina, Connecticut College, and the University of Wisconsin. She graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor's degree in Dance Education in 1957 from the University of Illinois at age nineteen.After graduating Teer studied dance with Mary Wigman in Berlin and ...