CSUN University Library

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.

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