Research Catalog

Willis Richardson papers

Title
Willis Richardson papers, 1910-1974.
Author
Richardson, Willis, 1889-1977.
Supplementary Content
Finding Aid

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2 Items

StatusContainerFormatAccessCall NumberItem Location
Box 1Mixed materialSupervised use *T-Mss 1974-002 Box 1Performing Arts Research Collections - Theatre
Portfolio 2Mixed materialSupervised use *T-Mss 1974-002 Portfolio 2Performing Arts Research Collections - Theatre

Details

Additional Authors
  • Spence, Eulalie, 1894-1981.
  • Torrence, Ridgely, 1875-1950.
  • Robeson, Paul, 1898-1976.
  • Wilson, Frank, 1886-1956.
  • Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963.
  • La Farge, John, 1880-1963.
  • Locke, Alain LeRoy, 1886-1954.
  • Walton, Lester A., 1882-1965.
Description
1.5 lin. ft. (1 box and 1 portfolio)
Summary
The Willis Richardson papers consist of correspondence, scrapbooks, and ephemera.
Subjects
Genre/Form
  • Correspondence.
  • Scrapbooks.
Access (note)
  • Collection is open to the public. Library policy on photography and photocopying will apply. Advance notice may be required.
Source (note)
  • Richardson, Willis
Biography (note)
  • Playwright Willis Richardson (1889-1977) became the first African-American dramatist to have a non-musical work staged on Broadway when his play THE CHIP WOMAN'S FORTUNE opened in May 1923.
Processing Action (note)
  • Cataloged
Call Number
*T-Mss 1974-002
OCLC
NYPW03-A55
Author
Richardson, Willis, 1889-1977.
Title
Willis Richardson papers, 1910-1974.
Restricted Access
Collection is open to the public. Library policy on photography and photocopying will apply. Advance notice may be required.
Biography
Playwright Willis Richardson (1889-1977) became the first African-American dramatist to have a non-musical work staged on Broadway when his play THE CHIP WOMAN'S FORTUNE opened in May 1923. Born in Wilmington, North Carolina on November 5, 1889, Willis Richardson was a child of nine when a race riot in his hometown resulted in the deaths of sixteen African-Americans. He and his parents moved soon thereafter to Washington, D.C., where Willis was educated at the M Street School, later named Dunbar High School, the first public high school for blacks in the United States. Having taken correspondence courses in playwriting as well as poetry, Richardson staged his early plays in black high schools and colleges, including Howard University, and also had his work published in magazines. On May 15, 1923, Richardson's play THE CHIP WOMAN'S FORTUNE opened at the Frazee Theatre (later known as the Wallack Theatre), where it played 31 performances. His other plays include MORTGAGED (1924) and THE BOOT BLACK LOVER (1925). In later years Richardson edited the anthologies PLAYS AND PAGEANTS FROM THE LIFE OF THE NEGRO (1930) and NEGRO HISTORY IN THIRTEEN PLAYS (1935). He married Mary Ellen Jones in 1914, and the couple had three daughters. Richardson earned his living at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, where he worked from 1911 to 1954. Willis Richardson died on November 7, 1977, two days after his 88th birthday.
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Finding Aid
Added Author
Spence, Eulalie, 1894-1981.
Torrence, Ridgely, 1875-1950.
Robeson, Paul, 1898-1976.
Wilson, Frank, 1886-1956.
Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963.
La Farge, John, 1880-1963.
Locke, Alain LeRoy, 1886-1954.
Walton, Lester A., 1882-1965.
Research Call Number
*T-Mss 1974-002
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