|Fredi Washington (second from right)|
with Dorothy Maynor, Canada Lee,
Fredric March, and Judge Hubert T. Delany
during a 1943 YMCA-sponsored radio
broadcast on African American support
for the war effort.
The Amistad Research Center is proud to house the papers of both women, which provide glimpses into the lives of each, African Americans on stage and in film, and the intersection of entertainment and civil rights.The finding aids to the Fredi Washington Papers and the Isabel Washington Powell Papers were recently added to the Center's online finding aid database. Both contain correspondence, photographs, news clippings, as well as other documents. The Fredi Washington Papers also contain a number of materials related to fellow actor Paul Robeson, with whom she started in stage and film productions. Likewise, the Isabel Washington Powell Papers also contain information about Adam Clayton Powell Jr, to whom she was married for twelve years.
|Isabel Washington with Ralph |
Theodore and James Stark in a
production of "Singin' the Blues,"
Like her sister, Isabel Washington Powell starred in a number of stage performances during the 1920s and 1930s, including roles in 'Harlem," "Bamboola," and "Singin' the Blues." Following her marriage to Adam Clayton Powell Jr in 1933, she left show business. Married to Powell Jr. for twelve years, she assisted him in his activist efforts. Following their divorce, she eventually worked as a school teacher and social services worker in the New York City school system.
Together, these two collections provide a fascinating look at African American society and entertainment during the early to mid 20th century, and highlight two outstanding women who contributed greatly to both.
Posted by Christopher Harter
(Images from the Fredi Washington Papers and the Isabel Washington PowelPapers. May not be reproduced without permission.)