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Article-a-Day #23: Mental Floss-Ira Aldridge: The Black Shakespearean Actor Who Broke Theater’s Color Barrier

[Ira Aldridge] [b]orn in New York in 1807, Aldridge made such a name for himself in the theaters of the mid-19th century that he went on to be awarded high cultural honors, and is today one of just 33 people honored with a bronze plaque on a chair at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon. But what makes Aldridge’s achievements all the more extraordinary is that, at a time of widespread intolerance and racial discrimination in the U.S., he was black.