Today in History: The Spingarn Medal was Awarded to Richard B. Harrison for his Portrayal of the “Lawd” in The Green Pastures

On this day in 1931 the Spingarn Medal was awarded to Richard B. Harrison for his Portrayal of the “Lawd” in The Green Pastures.

Richard Berry Harrison was a renowned actor, teacher, dramatic reader and lecturer.

The son of fugitive slaves, Harrison was born in London, Ontario, Canada, on September 28, 1864, the eldest of five siblings.

Harrison became extremely well known after playing “de Lawd” in more than 1,650 performances of Marc Connelly’s play, The Green Pastures, which opened on Broadway on February 26, 1930.

The show ran for 16 months, then went on tour, appearing in more than 203 cities and towns, including his hometown of London, Ontario, at the Grand Theatre, and later won a Pulitzer Prize for Drama for playwright Connelly in 1931.

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