Before the 1890s, white people portrayed African American life on broadway through blackface. It 1898, a black-written musical comedy was brought to Broadway by Will Marion Cook and Bob Cole. “Clorindy” and “The Origin of the Cake Walk” were the first all black shows. Bob Cole focused on elevating the lyrical sophistication of African American musicals with his work.
It wasn’t until the early 1990s that black musical theater really gained its popularity. Some prominant shows are Black Nativity, Dream Girls, The Wiz, and Hamilton. These musical often featured a wide variety of talented singers such as Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, and Jennifer Holiday.