Research Catalog

Frederick O'Neal papers

Title
Frederick O'Neal papers, 1914-2001 (bulk ca. 1940-1991).
Author
O'Neal, Frederick, 1905-1992.
Supplementary Content
Finding aid

Items in the Library & Off-site


About 45 Items.
Still Loading More items...

StatusVol/DateFormatAccessCall NumberItem Location
Box 1Mixed materialRequest in advance Sc MG 427 Box 1Offsite
Box 2Mixed materialRequest in advance Sc MG 427 Box 2Offsite
Box 3Mixed materialRequest in advance Sc MG 427 Box 3Offsite
Box 4Mixed materialRequest in advance Sc MG 427 Box 4Offsite
Box 5Mixed materialRequest in advance Sc MG 427 Box 5Offsite
Box 6Mixed materialRequest in advance Sc MG 427 Box 6Offsite
Box 7Mixed materialRequest in advance Sc MG 427 Box 7Offsite
Box 8Mixed materialRequest in advance Sc MG 427 Box 8Offsite
Box 9Mixed materialRequest in advance Sc MG 427 Box 9Offsite
Box 10Mixed materialRequest in advance Sc MG 427 Box 10Offsite
Box 11Mixed materialRequest in advance Sc MG 427 Box 11Offsite
Box 12Mixed materialRequest in advance Sc MG 427 Box 12Offsite
Box 13Mixed materialRequest in advance Sc MG 427 Box 13Offsite
Box 14Mixed materialRequest in advance Sc MG 427 Box 14Offsite
Box 15Mixed materialRequest in advance Sc MG 427 Box 15Offsite
Box 16Mixed materialRequest in advance Sc MG 427 Box 16Offsite
Box 17Mixed materialRequest in advance Sc MG 427 Box 17Offsite
Box 18Mixed materialRequest in advance Sc MG 427 Box 18Offsite
Box 19Mixed materialRequest in advance Sc MG 427 Box 19Offsite
Box 20Mixed materialRequest in advance Sc MG 427 Box 20Offsite

Details

Additional Authors
Description
22.2 lin. ft. (8 cartons, 30 archival boxes, 4 1/2 archival boxes, 3 print boxes)
Subjects
Genre/Form
  • Theater programs.
  • Scrapbooks.
  • Scripts.
  • Radio scripts.
  • Television scripts.
  • Speeches.
Note
  • Photographs transferred to Photographs and Prints Division.
  • Art and artifacts transferred to Art and Artifacts Division.
  • Audiotapes and videotapes transferred to Moving Image and Recorded Sound Division.
  • Books and magazines transferred to General Research and Reference Division.
Source (note)
  • Frederick and Charlotte O'Neal
Biography (note)
  • Frederick O'Neal was an African-American actor and director in theater, motion pictures, radio and television, as well as a labor leader in performing arts unions. Primarily a character actor, O'Neal began his career in St. Louis, Mo., where he organized the Aldridge Players. After more than ten years of acting in road companies throughout the West and Midwest, in 1936 O'Neal settled in New York City. In 1940, together with Abram Hill, he co-founded the American Negro Theatre (ANT) in Harlem, and in 1944 he made his Broadway debut in the role of the comic bully in "Anna Lucasta" with Hilda Simms, which was originally produced by the ANT on its stage, and later taken to London.
  • By the mid-1960's, O'Neal had become active in Actors' Equity Association (AEA). After serving in a number of positions with the union, in 1964 he was elected its president, a post he held until 1973. As the first African-American president of AEA, he worked with producers to end discrimination in the casting of its members. In 1969 he became a member of the AFL-CIO Council, and from 1970 until his retirement in 1988, he was president of the Associated Actors and Artistes of America.
  • O'Neal was also a member of a number of organizations, including the Catholic Interracial Council, for which he served as treasurer, the Catholic Actors Guild (vice president), the Negro Actors Guild (president 1960-1964), the Afro-American Guild of Performing Artists (treasurer) and the American Committee for the First World Festival of Negro Arts, Dakar, 1966 (treasurer). He served on the board of a number of organizations including the African-American Labor Council, A. Philip Randolph Institute, and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA).
Call Number
Sc MG 427
OCLC
  • 122465733
  • 122465733
Author
O'Neal, Frederick, 1905-1992.
Title
Frederick O'Neal papers, 1914-2001 (bulk ca. 1940-1991).
Summary
The Frederick O'Neal papers document the theatrical, labor, and civic activities of this actor and labor leader, with emphasis on the 1940s through the 1990s. The collection consists primarily of personal papers, correspondence files, his speeches and addresses, writings, and information about the theatrical productions in which he appeared, in addition to scripts. There is also research material about the 19th century African American actor, Ira Aldridge, and files pertaining to the many organizations with which O'Neal was associated.
The Personal papers series, 1914-2001, encompasses resumes, interviews, news clippings, and other printed material. Most of the correspondence is with the many organizations with which he had long-standing relationships as a board member, contributor, or in some other capacity. Much of the general correspondence includes invitations to various conferences, panels, lectures, and political events.
The Speeches and addresses series, 1960s-1990, contains speeches and research material that O'Neal used to prepare them. Most of the topics he dealt with concerned African American contributions to American theater, racial discrimination in American theater, and the progress of integration in the theater and trade unions. The series Writings, 1930-1987, consists of published articles along with drafts and research material for the articles O'Neal wrote about Black actors in the United States, American labor unions and actors, labor unions in Israel, the role of the arts in American society, and a series of articles regarding integration in the theater.
The Theatrical career series, 1928-1991, includes productions in which O'Neal was involved, i.e. dramatic readings, films, plays, radio, sound recordings, and television. Of interest are correspondence and reviews for the film version of "Anna Lucasta." Material for the many plays O'Neal produced consists variously of playscripts, correspondence, programs, reviews, budget, agreements, and for American Negro Theatre (ANT) productions, a scrapbook. There is a significant amount of information devoted to the ANT production of "Anna Lucasta," as well as the productions in England and Scotland (1947-1948) . This series contains playbills and programs for a variety of productions in which O'Neal was featured as well as for lectures that he gave nationwide, 1928-1991. Scripts, 1948-1969, primarily by such African American playwrights as Owen Dodson, Gertrude Jeannette, George Norford, and Shauneille Perry, as well as white playwrights, form part of this series.
The Ira Aldridge research material series, 1955-1992, pertains to research O'Neal and several scholars conducted that resulted in publications. The material includes correspondence between O'Neal and the scholars, research material, and a manuscript or the actual publication, when available.
The Organizations series, 1925-1991, contains files devoted to theater and arts organizations, including the Afro-American Guild of Performing Arts, the American Negro Theatre, the Catholic Actors Guild, the Founding Committee for the Establishment of the American Negro Theatre (1962-1967), the Harlem Cultural Council, and the Negro Actors Guild. Labor organizations with which he was intimately involved include the Actors' Equity Association. Equity files, 1946-1982, pertain to efforts to integrate Black actors in New York and Washington, D.C. productions (1950s), integrating hotels for actors in traveling productions, and blacklisting of actors in the 1950s. Files reflect O'Neal's AFL-CIO vice presidency from 1969-1989 and his position as chairman of its Civil Rights Committee. He also maintained files for the African-American Labor Center, and from 1950-1957 during the period O'Neal was a board member, there are correspondence and press releases condemning AWARE, Inc., a group formed to combat communism in the entertainment world that assisted blacklisted performers by publicly defending them. Files document some of O'Neal's long association as president of the AFL-CIO affiliate, the Associated Actors and Artistes of America (the 4A's), the primary association of trade unions for performing artists in the United States. The Cultural and civic organizations material, 1952-1992, contains O'Neal's files for organizations that are neither theatrical nor labor-oriented, for which he served as a board member or in some other capacity; many of the organizations pertain to Africa and African Americans.
Biography
Frederick O'Neal was an African-American actor and director in theater, motion pictures, radio and television, as well as a labor leader in performing arts unions. Primarily a character actor, O'Neal began his career in St. Louis, Mo., where he organized the Aldridge Players. After more than ten years of acting in road companies throughout the West and Midwest, in 1936 O'Neal settled in New York City. In 1940, together with Abram Hill, he co-founded the American Negro Theatre (ANT) in Harlem, and in 1944 he made his Broadway debut in the role of the comic bully in "Anna Lucasta" with Hilda Simms, which was originally produced by the ANT on its stage, and later taken to London.
By the mid-1960's, O'Neal had become active in Actors' Equity Association (AEA). After serving in a number of positions with the union, in 1964 he was elected its president, a post he held until 1973. As the first African-American president of AEA, he worked with producers to end discrimination in the casting of its members. In 1969 he became a member of the AFL-CIO Council, and from 1970 until his retirement in 1988, he was president of the Associated Actors and Artistes of America.
O'Neal was also a member of a number of organizations, including the Catholic Interracial Council, for which he served as treasurer, the Catholic Actors Guild (vice president), the Negro Actors Guild (president 1960-1964), the Afro-American Guild of Performing Artists (treasurer) and the American Committee for the First World Festival of Negro Arts, Dakar, 1966 (treasurer). He served on the board of a number of organizations including the African-American Labor Council, A. Philip Randolph Institute, and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA).
Source
Frederick and Charlotte O'Neal Gift 1991-2004 SCM 91-12, 91-67, 02-9, 03-34, 04-2, 04-15.
Connect to:
Local Subject
Black author.
Added Author
Dodson, Owen, 1914-1983. Bayou Legend.
Jeannette, Gertrude, 1914-2018. Light in the cellar.
Norford, George, 1918- Jackson.
Perry, Shauneille. Things of the heart: Marian Anderson's story.
Research Call Number
Sc MG 427
View in Legacy Catalog