October 20, 1945 p. 26
YOU THINK THE FOLKS on B'way are not equally as interested in seeing that Ben Davis is reelected to City Council as we in Harlem are, listen to this imposing list of names on the Artists, Writers and Professionals division of the Citizen's Non-Partisan Committee for the Reelection of Ben Davis: Paul Robeson, chairman; Margaret Webster, producer and director of Othello; Jose Ferrer, producer and director of Strange Fruit; Lena Horne; Leonard Bernstein, conductor of New York City Center Symphony and who gave the directorship of On The Town orchestra to a Negro; Howard Fast, author of Freedom Road; Sono Osato, star of On The Town; Count Basie, Canada Lee, Edward Chodorov, author-director of Decision; Jerome Robbins, Teddy Wilson, Irving Caesar, Cab Calloway,, [sic] Jimmie Lunceford, Samson, screen playwright; Theron Bamberger, Fritz Mahler, Joan Tetzel, James Proctor, business manager for Deep Are The Roots, yours truly and many more.
This group on Friday night, October 19, is holding a cabaret-concert-jam session show at the Penthouse, 13 Astor pl, with Howard Da Silva, of B'way and Paramount pictures, serving as master of ceremonies. The joint will jump with entertainment by Mary Lou Williams, Imogene Coca, Josh White, Josephine Premice, Roy Eldredge, Richard Huey of Bloomer Girl, the Specs Powell Trio, Phil Moore and Ruth Fremont, Bob Penn, Sam Morgenstern, Hubert Dilworth, Lucy Brown and Cass Carr to play the dance music. Ben Davis will make an appearance [sic: no period] Come on down and rub shoulders with the who's who of the show world and see your Councilman in action.
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WHEN TALKING TO PRODUCERS, you so often hear them squawk about a dirth [sic] of material for the theatre. I'm wondering why someone hasn't gotten the idea of doing a screen or stage play based on the young Negro scientist and surgeon, Dr. Charles Drew? Few people know that at the age of 36, Drew set up the blood bank which saved so many lives in the war and that he is head of the surgical department at Freedmen's Hospital and Dean of Surgeons at Howard University, both in Washington, D.C. Dr. Drew comes from a large family in Washington and worked his way through college. His family life is as interesting and as American as his professional life. Looks like someone is missing the boat. BUT GOOD.
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IF YOU KEEP UP WITH YOUR daily news (not the N.Y. Daily News), then you read about the witch hunt now directed at some of the outspoken radio news commentators by the House Committee on un-American Activities. That's the outfit, if you recall, which our good friend Rankin of Mississippi took over after Martin Dies petered out. According to the report, news leaked out that the committee will subpoena the scripts of Jown W. Vandercook, William S. Gailmor, Lisa Sergio, Johannes Steele, Sydney Walton, Hans Jacob, J. Raymond Walsh and Frank Kingdon. Rep. Emanuel Celler (D., N.Y.), charged that the National Association of Manufacturers is behind the move. Looks like the same old story all over again. Big business using their power and dough to deny the air waves to those people who have the gall to call a spade a spade. We, the listening public, cannot afford to tolerate this sort of bigoted censorship by this or any other group. It is not only our right, but it is our duty to protest in the loudest possible manner the un-American activities of representatives we support with our hard earned dollars. Get busy and wire Rep. Emanuel Celler in Washington.
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WHILE THE PRESS of the nation is growing more indignant daily over the Daughters of the American Revolution's jimcro policy for their now famous Constitution Hall, Hazel Scott is getting a taste of the good old South with concerts in Topeka, and Kansas City, Kansas, and St. Louis, Mo., this week. Rep. Clare Luce Boothe (we will have to fight Russia), is the latest to cash in on the publicity. She informed the Conn. chapter of the DAR's this week that if they did not protest the denial of Constitution Hall to Negro artists, she would resign. Could this be some more phoney liberalism? I wonder.
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THE SIXTH CONSECUTIVE Harlem season for the American Negro Theatre starts next month. Housed in their new quarters, the Elks Lodge Building, 15 W 126 st, the group now has at its disposal, three floors, an auditorium which seats 500 with balcony and a large modern stage. It is good news to know that there now is a school for student actors which is already in session with 50 new pupils, including several vets who successfully passed auditions. Courses include dramatics, radio technique, speech and body movement.
The American Negro Theatre is well on its way to becoming the bright spot for the Negro in the field of drama. One way of raising the necessary funds to eventually build their own theatre (this being their purpose), is to solicit the services from time to time of professional names for roles in their plays. In this way, special prices can be charged and the artist involved would be a part of a growing, living theatre in which he can share its pride.