Charles S. Gilpin quit school when he was 12 years old and began to travel with the Cilliams and Walker Vaudeville Company. He was a part of the Canadian Jubilee singers and was one of the original members of the Pekin Stock Company in CHicago. In 1914 he appeared as the leading part in The Girl at The Fort with the ANita Bush Company. In 1926 he starred in the films version of Ten Nights in the Barroom. Sadly his career ended when he lost his voice and he died at the young age of 52.


Paul Robeson

Paul was an American concert singer, recording artist, athlete and actor who became noted for his political radicalism and activism in the civil rights movement. Robeson was the first major concert star to popularize the performance of negro spirituals , he was also the first black actor of the 20th century to portray Shakespeare's Othello in a production that consist of an all white cast. Robeson was  awarded a NAACP's Spingam Medal, the STalin Peace Prize and honorary memberships in over half a dozen trade unions. James Earl Jones, Sidney Potier and Harry Belafonte have cited Robeson's lead film roles as the firts to display dignity for black actors and African American heritage.

Florence Mills

Born Florence Winfrey was known as the "Queen of Happiness" she was an American cabaret singer,dancer, comedian and actress. She was featured in Vogue and Vanity Fair and she was photographed by famous photographers Bassano and Edward Steichen. Mills  was most famous for her renditions of " I'm a Little Blackbird Looking for a Bluebird" and "I'm Cravin for that Kind of Love." 

Mills starred in Shuffle Along (1921) at the Daly's 3rd Street Theatre and she became an international superstar  starring in the hit show "Lew Leslies's Blackbirds" (1926).