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“C” is for Childress, Alice [1920-1994]

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  “C” is for Childress, Alice [1920-1994]. Actress, theater director, playwright, novelist. Born in Charleston, Childress was reared in New York by her grandmother; however, she maintained ties with the lowcountry through a network of Charlestonians living in Harlem. In 1940 she began her acting career with the American Negro Theater, eventually becoming its director. In 1956 she won an Obie for best Off-Broadway Play for Trouble in Mind, about black actors having to play stereotypical roles created by whites. Perhaps her most famous play, A Wedding Band was staged by the New York Shakespeare Theater and was televised nationally. Considering herself a Charlestonian, Alice Childress visited the state in 1977 with her husband, with whom she wrote A Sea Island Song, a musical and dramatic tribute to the Gullah culture of the Sea Islands.

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.