Earlier this month, Andrew Kurjata from Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s program Daybreak North contacted me to get more information on Charles Sager. Sager was a major figure in the short-lived but important Pekin Theater in early twentieth-century Chicago, a theatre by and for African Americans where he served as stage manager (and, it seems, also appeared on stage occasionally). He also wrote and toured the Midwest in 1899 and into the early twentieth century with his pageant of African American history, The Negro. Kurjata and Dr. Jonathan Swaigner at the University of Northern British Columbia uncovered some details on a later chapter in Sager’s life. According to a 1909 article in The Freeman, Sager was “of the novelty producers and promoters in Winnipeg, Manitoba.” 1 From there, Swaigner and Kurjata discovered, he ended up a barber in Prince George – where he penned a letter to the local council about racial prejudice.
You can listen to the CBC story and read Sager’s letter to the mayor and Prince George’s city council here.