Davis, Henrietta Vinton


Davis, Henrietta Vinton
(1860-1941)
   Born in Baltimore, the African American actress was educated in Washington, D.C., where she began her career as an elocutionist. Touring widely with a program of speeches by Shakespeare's heroines, she held her mostly white audiences spellbound with her recitations. Racial segregation precluded the blossoming of her remarkable talent as an actress, for she performed in only four legitimate dramas: Damon and Pythias (1884), Dessalines (1893), Our Old Kentucky Home (1898), and Henri Christophe (1912). After 1912, she channeled her energies into political activism.

The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. .

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