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FIRST LADY OF THE STAGE
Rose McClendon, dubbed the "Negro first lady of the dramatic stage," was born Rosalie Virginia Scott in Greenville, South Carolina, on August 27, 1884.
Before the turn of the century, her family moved to New York City, where she attended Public School 40. In 1904, she married Dr. Henry Pruden McClendon, a licensed chiropractor who also labored as a Pullman porter. Shortly after her marriage, Rose McClendon began to direct and act in church plays at St. Mark's African Methodist Episcopal Church. She completely immersed herself in theater after she received a scholarship in 1916 to study acting at New York's famed American Academy of Dramatic Arts. In 1919, McClendon landed her first professional stage role with a small part in the play Justice.
With the advent of the Harlem Renaissance, a period in the 1920s that celebrated black art, …