The Ruth Beckford Papers include dance programs, correspondence, lesson plans, oral histories, manuscripts, newspapers clippings,
and photographs documenting Beckford’s career as a noted African-Haitian dancer, actress, and teacher.
Dancer, teacher, and author Ruth Beckford was born on December 7, 1925 in Oakland, California, the youngest of four children
of Cora and Felix Beckford. Both her parents were active in Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association, her father
served as secretary of the U.N.I.A. Oakland Branch and her mother worked as a Black Cross nurse. At age 3, Beckford began
taking dance lessons from Florelle Barsford and by age 8 she was performing professionally as a dancer in local vaudeville
acts with her twin brothers, Felix W. and Felix Garvey Beckford.
11.5 linear feet
(22 boxes + 1 oversized box)
Permission to publish from the Ruth Beckford Papers must be obtained from the African American Museum & Library at Oakland.
No access restrictions. Collection is open to the public.