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Harlem cavalcade : story and screen play


Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Delaware Library Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

American film writer and producer Lew Lipton wrote or adapted over twenty screenplays and was the producer of twenty other films. He was born on February 23, 1893, in Chicago, Illinois, and died in New York City on December 27, 1961.

"Lew Lipton." The Internet Movie Database. (retrieved June 2010).

American film writer and producer Lew Lipton worked on the ultimately unproduced story and screenplay for "Harlem Cavalcade" from 1935 until his death in 1961. Retitled "Black America" in later drafts, it follows the story of African American life from 1626 to the 1930s.

This script consists of 154 pages of legal-sized original typescript and typescript carbon pages. The second page of the manuscript bears this typed statement: "The idea of Harlem Cavalcade was conceived by the author in 1935. Since then he has devoted most of his time to research, compilation, arrangement and the actual writing."

The play is an epic history of Black people in America, including the social, political and cultural experience, about which the author writes on page five: "Throughout this entire story, there is not a single white person visible. White participation is illustrated purely by suggestion." This direction does not appear in the later draft retitled "Black America."

Lipton's story begins in 1626 on the docks of the Dutch community in what is today New York City. What follows are vignettes of major events and the lives of African Americans as they shaped history until about 1938. Individuals depicted in the story include Booker T. Washington, Frederick Douglas, George Washington Carver, Joe Lewis, Satchel Paige, Cab Calloway, and numerous others. The story ends in a classroom in Harlem in the late 1930s with the singing of the "Colored National Anthem."

Box 60, F0868A: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0099 manuscript boxes.

Purchase, February 2010.

Processed and encoded by Anita Wellner, June 2010. Further encoded by George Apodaca, October 2015; Jaime Margalotti, May 2021.

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2010 June 28
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library,

Collection Inventory

Harlem Cavalcade : story and screen play, approximately 1935-1961.
Box 60 Folder F0868A

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