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The Story of Trailblazing Actor Ira Aldridge

The Story of Trailblazing Actor Ira Aldridge
Glenda Armand By (author)
Floyd Cooper Illustrated by
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Lee & Low Books

Limited ***

5.5 X 8.3 in
64 pg

JUVENILE NONFICTION / Biography & Autobiography / Performing Arts


Ira Aldridge dreamed of being on stage, performing the great works of William Shakespeare. He spent every chance he got at the local theaters, memorizing each actor's lines for all of the great plays. Ira knew he could be a famous performer if given the chance. But in the early 1800s, only white actors were allowed to perform Shakespeare. African American actors had to play in musicals at the all—black theater in New York City.Despite the discouragement of his teacher and father, Ira determinedly pursued his dream and set off for England, the land of Shakespeare. There he honed his acting skills and eventually performed at the acclaimed Theatre Royal Haymarket. Through perseverance and determination, Ira became one of the most celebrated Shakespearean actors in Europe, and a public supporter of the abolitionist movement. This chapter book edition includes black—and—white illustrations as well as sidebars on related subjects, a timeline, a glossary, and recommended reading.

Author Bio

Glenda Armand is a teacher librarian in Los Angeles, California. This is her first book.
Floyd Cooper (1956-2021) was a Coretta Scott King Award winner and illustrator of numerous books for children including Ruth and the Green Book, A Spy Called James, and Max and the Tag-Along Moon. Unspeakable, one of his final picture books, was a National Book Award longlist title, a Sibert Honor book, and a Caldecott Honor book. He received a degree in fine arts from the University of Oklahoma and went on to develop a distinctive art technique called oil erasure.