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Osceola Macarthy Adams

(1890-1986)

Osceola Macarthy Adams was born in Albany, Georgia, on June 13, 1890. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Howard University. On September 13, 1915, she married Dr. Numa P.G. Adams, a talented musician, medical scholar, and former Dean of the School of Medicine at Howard University. She later went on to obtain her Masters degree from New York University in 1937.

Always focusing on a career as an actress, she furthered her training in professional schools including the Repertory Playhouse Associates, and the American Theatre Wing School of Drama.

A gifted actress of great sensitivity and elegant grace, she appeared often on-Broadway and off-Broadway, including the New York Shakespeare Festival, and a great number of national college playhouses across the country. She used the stage name Osceola Archer. She also distinguished herself in dramatic roles in commercials on television as well as in movies.

Osceola Macarthy was a gifted director and teacher, whose tenure at the American Negro Theatre during the depression years, inspired many students including; Harry Belafonte, Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis.

She was a tireless worker and a constant champion of equality and justice for men and women in the performing arts. She carried leadership positions on the Council of Actor's Equity Association, the Equal employment Committee of AFTRA, and the Joint Equality Committee, composed of representatives of the four craft unions -AFTRA, SAG and the Directors and Writers Guilds.

Soror Adams received honors throughout her life, including the Citation of American Wing War Services for outstanding service at the New York Stage Door Canteen, and the United Seaman's Service Citation in recognition of devoted service during World War II.

Osceola Macarthy Adams was a sturdy rock in the foundation of Delta Sigma Theta. A charismatic founder, she was continuously active in the sorority, having served as National Treasurer (1921 -1925), and on many committees and commissions, including the Commission on Arts and Letters. She will long be remembered for the keen intellect and fiery enthusiasm she brought to all sorority efforts. An award, The Osceola, for distinguished achievement in the Arts, was established in her name in 1973.

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