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The Black Emperor of Broadway


There was a time when it was the norm for white actors to perform on stage in blackface to portray black and brown characters. Even black actors playing the role of black characters had to appear in blackface. The name of the first black actor to play the lead role of a black character on Broadway was Charles S. Gilpin; a name not familiar to many. Nor is the story of events leading up to that historic moment. Filmmaker Arthur Egeli hopes to change that with the new film which he directed and produced titled The Black Emperor of Broadway. On The Point, we talk with Egeli and the lead actress in the film, Nija Okoro, who portrays Charles wife, Florence Gilpin.



Mindy Todd is the host and producer of The Point on WCAI which examines critical issues for Cape Cod and the Islands. She brings more than 30 years of experience in radio and television to WCAI.