Celebration Quotation – January 18, 2016

Today, in honor of Martin Luther King Day, our quote features an another African-American trailblazer: Ira Aldridge.

"He was a man., take him for all in all. I shall not look upon his like again." Hamlet, Act 1< scene 2; Image: American actor Ira Aldridge

Actor Ira Frederick Aldridge (1860-1867) was born in New York City, but spent much of his career overseas.  He was the first black actor to play (amid protests) the role of Othello on the London stage, more than 200 years after the play was written.  Aldridge toured England and Europe, playing many of Shakespeare’s leading roles. His career lasted more than 40 years.  When he passed away while on tour in Poland, he was given a state funeral.

Though the image is of Aldridge as Othello, the quote is from Hamlet – we feel it applies to Aldridge, as well as Dr. King.


Image Source: Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Image Collection