Gill, Glenda E. 1939- (Glenda Eloise Gill)

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Gill, Glenda E. 1939- (Glenda Eloise Gill)


Born June 26, 1939, in Clarksville, TN; daughter of Melvin Leo, Sr. (a postmaster) and Olivia (a college professor) Gill. Ethnicity: "African American." Education: Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical College (now University), B.S., 1960; University of Wisconsin—Madison, M.A., 1964; University of Iowa, Ph.D., 1981. Politics: Democrat. Religion: Presbyterian. Hobbies and other interests: Dancing, reading.


Home—Huntsville, AL. E-mail—[email protected].


High school teacher in Normal, AL, 1960-62; Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical College (now University), Huntsville, teacher, 1963-69; University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, teacher, 1970-75; Simpson College, Indianola, IA, assistant professor of English, 1981-82; Tuskegee University, Tuskegee University, AL, associate professor of English and head of department, 1982-83; Winston-Salem State University, Winston-Salem, NC, associate professor, 1984-90; Michigan Technological University, Houghton, professor of drama, 1990-2006, professor emeritus, 2006—. Tuskegee University, Ralph Ellison Lecturer, 2007.


Eugene O'Neill Society.


Grants from National Endowment for the Humanities, 1974, 1985, 1989, 1991; Rockefeller scholar, 1976, 1977; Roothbert fellow, 1986, 1987; fellow at National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, 1990.


White Grease Paint on Black Performers: A Study of the Federal Theatre of 1935-1939, Peter Lang (New York, NY), 1988.

No Surrender! No Retreat! African-American Pioneer Performers of Twentieth-Century American Theater, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2000.

Contributor to academic journals, including Journal of American Drama and Theatre, Theatre Survey, Theatre Journal, and Eugene O'Neill Review.


Glenda E. Gill once told CA: "My primary motivation for writing is to illuminate the struggles and achievements of African Americans in the performing arts. I was mainly influenced by the many artists I saw as a ‘campus kid’ growing up at Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical College between 1944 and 1958."

She later added: "I write because of my profound interest in the effect art has on justice. In the fall, 2005 issue of the Journal of American Drama and Theatre I examined the negative impact of the casting of Sean (Diddy) Combs as the protagonist, Walter Lee Younger, an iconic role in the 2004 Broadway revival of Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun. In 2007 I also delivered a lecture on that topic at Tuskegee University."