1946 November 24

Playwrights Force Issue of Racial Integration in Washington, D.C.

 

The issue of race discrimination in Washington theaters came to a head, it was reported on this day, when the Dramatists Guild signed a contract with local theaters demanding that there be no racial discrimination “on either side of the footlights.”

The issue of race discrimination in the nation’s capital had been brewing since the great African-American singer Marian Anderson was denied use of Constitution Hall by the hall’s owners, the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). That controversy ended when the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt granted permission to hold the concert at the Lincoln Memorial, on April 9, 1939. The concert is regarded as a historic event in the history of racial equality in the U.S.

A controversy erupted later when the noted actress Ingrid Bergman performed the play, Joan of Lorraine, at a new theater owned by George Washington University. It was revealed that the university would not sell tickets to African-Americans in a separate, segregated section (something the DAR did permit).

Take a civil rights history tour of Washington, DC: http://washington.org/dc-itinerary/dc-itinerary-major-civil-rights-sites-1-day

Learn more: Howard Gillette, Between Justice and Beauty: Race, Planning, and the Failure of Urban Policy in Washington, D.C. (1995)

Read: John H. Houchin, Censorship of the American Theater in the Twentieth Century (2003)

Learn more about African American history: Henry Louis Gates, Life Upon These Shores: Looking at African American History, 1513-2008 (2011)

Find a Day

Go
Abortion Rights ACLU african-americans Alice Paul anti-communism Anti-Communist Hysteria Birth Control Brown v. Board of Education Censorship CIA Civil Rights Civil Rights Act of 1964 Cold War Espionage Act FBI First Amendment Fourteenth Amendment freedom of speech Free Speech Gay Rights Hate Speech homosexuality Hoover, J. Edgar HUAC Japanese American Internment King, Dr. Martin Luther Ku Klux Klan Labor Unions Lesbian and Gay Rights Loyalty Oaths McCarthy, Sen. Joe New York Times Obscenity Police Misconduct Same-Sex Marriage Separation of Church and State Sex Discrimination Smith Act Spying Spying on Americans Vietnam War Voting Rights Voting Rights Act of 1965 War on Terror Watergate White House Women's Rights Women's Suffrage World War I World War II Relocation Camps

Topics

Tell Us What You Think

We want to hear your comments, criticisms and suggestions!