Arts advocate founded National Black Theater

Barbara Ann Teer, who founded the National Black Theater in Harlem, died July 21 in Harlem of natural causes. She was 71.

Teer was a dancer and actress who appeared in Broadway and off-Broadway productions. After growing tired of being offered stereotypical roles by white producers, she became an advocate for black artists and black culture.

In 1968, Teer founded the National Black Theater, which produces shows, lectures, workshops, classes and exhibits.

A native of East St. Louis, Ill., she moved to New York City after earning a bachelor’s in dance from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

She is survived by a daughter and a son.

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