Reference Entry

Graham, Shirley

Robert L. Gale

in American National Biography Online


Published online September 2000 | e-ISBN: 9780198606697 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/anb/9780198606697.article.1803503

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights)
  • Politics
  • Biographical Studies

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

Graham, Shirley (11 November 1896–27 March 1977), musical composer and director, author, and political activist, also known as Shirley Graham Du Bois, was born Lola Bell Graham in Indianapolis, Indiana, the daughter of the Reverend David A. Graham, an African Methodist Episcopal minister, and Etta Bell. She accompanied them when her father held pastorates in New Orleans, Colorado Springs, and Spokane. He delighted her with stories about important blacks in American history. In his churches, she learned to play the piano and the pipe organ and to conduct choirs. In 1914 she graduated from high school in Spokane, took business school courses, and worked in government offices in Spokane and Seattle. After she married Shadrach T. McCanns in 1921, she gave private music lessons and played the organ in white movie theaters, hidden backstage. She had two sons, Robert and David, and was either widowed in 1924 or obtained a divorce in 1929. (In many respects, biographical data concerning Graham are in dispute.)...

Reference Entry.  1641 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights) ; Politics ; Biographical Studies

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.