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Against The Odds The Show Must Go On

Posted on May 29, 2014 by in The OFI Blog

Michelle R. Scott, Ph.D. Senior Fellow at NMAH

Michelle R. Scott, Ph.D. Senior Fellow at NMAH

On Tuesday, May 27th 2014, a Senior Fellow at the National Museum of American History (NMAH), Dr. Michelle R. Scott, conducted a colloquium on her research into the torment and triumphs of black vaudeville performers experienced in the 1920’s.

Vaudeville is a style of variety show popular in the early 1900’s which involved short acts of singers, dancers, contortionists, trained animals, minstrels and more.  Dr. Scott discussed the difficulties faced by black entertainers working on the vaudeville circuit ranging from sexism, racism, negative perception of their work, and the challenges of being a performer.