SDA petition flyer, December 1960

The Students for Direct Action flyer’s remarks about students in dramatic and musical productions referred to Barbara Smith, cast as Dido in a UT performance of Henry Purcell’s opera Dido and Aeneas, but removed from the role she earned because of legislative pressure stemming from dismay at a black woman as the love interest of a white Aeneas. Smith received threats, and, according to a correspondent, had to hide in the University Baptist Church for two weeks. According to an interview with Barbara Smith Conrad in a 1998 issue of Alcalde Magazine, the church also received threats when she sang in worship services there. The University Baptist Church’s sign read “People of All Races and Nations Are Welcome.” At that time, that definitely did not go without saying. (Click image to enlarge.)

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