African-American journalist and editor June Vanleer Williams is not necessarily well-known, but what a rich life she led. Williams was an actress, a casting director, a journalist, a playwright, a poet, and an active member in Karamu House, which is the oldest Black theater in the United States. Although she spent much of her life in Cleveland, Ohio, she did not limit herself geographically or experientially.
Last year AHC intern Rebecca Goodson, a UW American Studies graduate student, created a wonderful Story Map about Williams’ life and career.
Rebecca describes Story Map as:
…an exciting new format online to tell and share stories. It is a free format that helps you mix media, texts, videos, maps, images, and webpages into one cohesive format. The Story-Map website is fairly accessible, and can be a fun and new way to think about sharing information and telling stories out of archival material, and more.
We invite you to take a look at the June Vanleer Williams Story Map that Rebecca so skillfully created. As Rebecca notes:
June Vanleer Williams, and her papers at the AHC, offer a wealth of insights into her perspectives and experiences, into the history of black theater in the United States, actors and actresses, playwrights, into the history of female journalists, black journalists, authorship, community membership, and more.
The June Vanleer Williams papers contain biographical information; diaries; scrapbooks; poems, articles, and scripts written by Williams; photographs from the early 1900s-1974; and personal and professional correspondence concerning Williams’ involvement in the Karamu House in Cleveland, Ohio. The collection also contains books, newspaper and magazine clippings, pamphlets, periodicals, programs, and other related material concerning June Vanleer Williams, her columns, the theatre of Karamu House, and photos and resumes of various actors from 1951-1973.