Bert Williams

In 1906 George Walker said that his partner was “the first man that I know of our race to delineate a ‘darky’ in a perfectly natural way, and I think our success is due to this fact. ” On the face of it, the statement is puzzling. The “perfectly natural” black man that Bert Williams played was a chicken-stealing simpleton, ever scared of the specter of gainful employment, adept in a razor fight, and chronically galled by tight shoes. But there was more to it than that. Read more »