In Memoriam

Barbara Ann Teer (1937-2008)

Barbara Ann Teer, the founder of the National Black Theatre in Harlem, died late last month at her home in New York City. She was 71 years old.

Teer, a native of East St. Louis, Illinois, enrolled at Bennett College for Women at the age of 16. After one year at the historically black college, she transferred to the University of Illinois, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in dance education.

She appeared in several Broadway productions but became disenchanted with the roles available to black women. As a result, in 1968 she founded the National Black Theatre.

Teer held honorary doctorates from Southern Illinois University and the University of Rochester. For a brief time, she was married to comedian Godfrey Cambridge.