Denzel Washington Samuel L.Jackson Ford Foundation New York USA New York Washington Theatre county Douglas county Turner county Ward broadway New York City Denzel Washington Samuel L.Jackson Ford Foundation New York USA New York Washington Theatre county Douglas county Turner county Ward

Douglas Turner Ward (1930–2021), pioneer of Black theater

legacy.com

Douglas Turner Ward was an actor, playwright, and director who co-founded New York’s Negro Ensemble Company.Ward began his acting career in the 1950s, appearing in stage productions including “A Raisin in the Sun” on Broadway.

But he was frustrated by the lack of opportunities for Black actors, and he spelled out his frustrations in a 1966 opinion piece for the New York Times, “American Theater: For Whites Only?” His words caught the eye of the Ford Foundation, which provided a grant for Ward to establish the Negro Ensemble Company.

Still operating today, the company has produced critically-acclaimed and award-winning shows, as well as helping establish the careers of actors including Denzel Washington, Samuel L.

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