Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Black History Month Paper- half page essay, Vaudeville actor George Walker
George Walker was born in 1872/73 in Lawrence, KS. During his career as a vaudeville actor, he popularized “the Cakewalk” dance with his stage partner, Bert Williams, who he met in San Francisco. Together they had a successful stage career, incorporating elaborate costumes and stage set designs. I researched George Walker for my Black History Month assignment because not much is known about this vaudeville actor, for one. Secondly, I felt Walker’s contributions to vaudeville (during a time when unknowns later went on to find fame in early Hollywood), is vastly forgotten nowadays. Third, I have a love for all things vaudeville and reading up about the bygone medium that was in vogue from the 1890’s-1930s. My research took me to Wikipedia and it seemed to be the only place I could find any information on this unknown vaudeville actor. Google’s search results brought me nothing but frustration and I had to wade through pages dedicated to George W. Bush, the 43rd president of the United States. However, I carried on with determination to find as much information that I could about George Walker. He didn’t live very long and passed away in 1911. Thus could be why I didn’t find out much about him. Some of Walker and William’s stage plays include: The Gold Bug (1895), Clorindy (1897), The Policy Player (1899), Sons of Ham (1900), Abyssinia (1906) and others. George Walker was married to dancer and choreographer, Ada Overton Walker, who later passed away in 1914. The imagery I would have liked to include would have been their stage performances of the aforementioned plays, like playbills from that time period, for example. Yet, I realize finding such material even on the internet would be a like looking for a needle in a haystack.