THE THEATER OWNERS' BOOKING ASSOCIATION (T.O.B.A.), An Annotated,
Bibliographical, Listing from the "Chicago Defender" and
the "Pittsburgh Courier" Weekly Newspapers - 1921-1931.
The Theater Owners' Booking Association (T.O.B.A.) was an
organization formed in January 1921 - and whose existence
and activities were reported on in the theatrical/entertainment
pages of the "Chicago Defender" - in order "to correct the
deplorable conditions then prevalent in the world of
black theatre". The organization was "owned and controlled
by Managers and Theater Owners Only", and (who booked)
"every desirable theater in the South and Middle West"
(of the United States). The elected officials/stockholders
of the organization were interracial. The performers were
black, or as referred to at that time, colored or "race".
It existed from the beginning of 1921 to the waning days
of 1930. The activities of the T.O.B.A. were followed
and reported on by the "
Chicago Defender", and to a
somewhat lesser degree, the "
Pittsburgh Courier", the
other major national, weekly, black newspaper.