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Ease on Down the Road

African American musical theater used to be white people in racist blackface derisive and disrespecting the African American culture and appearance but finally in 1898, Will M. Cook and Bob Cole produce an African American written comedy to Broadway. Musical Theater allowed people to combine art, music, and dance to tell a story.   The first Broadway play they wrote was ‘A Trip to Coontown’. It was written, produced, directed, and performed by African Americans.  The Broadway shows grew popular and were shown in prestigious halls including the shows ‘Clorindy’, and ‘A Trip to Coontown’. Cole and Cook made African American musical theater exploded in America and gave people many more promising Broadway shows including the color purple. 

Before in musical theater, African Americans were mocked and embarrassed by white people theater in Blackface. They would dress up as clowns and paint themselves black to imitate how they viewed African Americans. African Americans were previously ridiculed and embarrassed on stages, but now receive an astronomical amount of praise for their performances and shows. Now African Americans have plays that have been created for black people by black people to express themselves in an artistic way.

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Twanesha Powell

Twanesha Powell

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