George W. Walker (1873-1911), Actor and dancer
Sitter in 6 portraits
Born in Lawrence, Kansas, Walker began his career as a member of a troupe of black minstrels before he moved to California where he met Bert Williams in San Francisco in 1893. They were employed by the Mid-Winter Exposition in Golden Gate Park to work at an exhibition on Dahomeyan village life, impersonating Africans who were late to arrive. Williams and Walker studied their singing and dancing which led to Williams' In Dahomey, a musical that was 'a satire on the American Colonization Society's Back to Africa propaganda'. With music by Will Marion Cook and lyrics by Paul Lawrence Dunbar and Alex Roger it opened on Broadway on February 18, 1903 as the first full length black musical comedy.