Osceola Macarthy Adams

Most Influential Person Across History

American actress, drama teacher, director and clothing designer

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Osceola Macarthy Adams
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Osceola Macarthy Adams was an American actress, drama teacher, director, and clothing designer. She was one of the 22 founders of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority. Born to a life insurance executive in Albany, Georgia, Macarthy was mixed with European, Native American, and African-American heritage. She attended schools in Albany, Georgia including Albany Normal School, a predecessor to Albany State University, and then attended Fisk University’s Preparatory School. Later, she attended Howard University, where she studied ancient Greek and philosophy.

After graduating from Howard, Osceola married Numa Pompilius Garfield Adams , a chemistry professor, member of Alpha Phi Alpha, and first African-American Dean of Howard Medical School. She moved to Chicago in 1921 and taught at Bennett College. Osceola later moved to New York City where she was a director of the Putnam Country Theater in New York City.


According to Wikipedia, Osceola Marie Macarthy Adams , known by the stage name Osceola Archer, was one of the first Black actresses to appear on Broadway in Between Two Worlds in 1934. Speaking of Adams' decade-long role as director of some three dozen productions at the Putnam County Playhouse, actor Carl Harms noted she was likely also the first African-American director of summer stock.

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