One of the most energetic participants in last April's Georgetown conference on the arts in the Civil Rights Era (see April posting below) was the wonderful Barbara Ann Teer.
So you can imagine my shock when I saw this morning's NEW YORK TIMES with the news that Barbara Teer has died at age 71.
Teer hit the world of theater with explosive force as a young actress, but she quickly wearied of the stereotypical roles that were offered her. During the Black Arts Movement she was one of those who took the idea of institution building seriously, and so she founded the National Black Theater, still going today. Teer was always a theatrical personality; she was also always a generous person dedicated to the furtherance of artists. In 2008 she was still trying to live up to the goals she set for herself and for black theater in her 1968 manifesto establishing the criteria by which she was to work the rest of her career.