Minstrel shows of the early 19th century are said to be the roots of black theatre. Black theatre really flourished during the Harlem Renaissance in New York, Washington DC, and Chicago. After World War II there were petitions to abolish the use of racial stereotypes in theatre immerged. Unfortunately, it only went so far and it would be a long uphill battle before accurate representations of African American Life would hit the stage.
The Musical Shuffle Along is one of the most rarely discussed hit musicals of the 1920s and was also one of the longest-running. It was the first major production in more than a decade to be produced, written and performed entirely by African Americans. I got the chance to see the production in New York a few years and it was truly one of the most iconic musicals I have ever seen.