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Micki Grant

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Information about Micki Grant

Profile image of Micki Grant

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
Occupation(s):
Actress
Lyricist
Songwriter

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Purple
Favorite Food:
Vegetables
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Jamaica
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
6/30/1929
Birth Location:
Chicago, Illinois

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
Occupation(s):
Actress
Lyricist
Songwriter

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Purple
Favorite Food:
Vegetables
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Jamaica
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
6/30/1929
Birth Location:
Chicago
See how Micki Grant is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Lyricist, composer, writer and performer, Micki Grant was born to Gussie and Oscar Perkins on June 30 in Chicago, Illinois. Her mother worked for Stanley Products and her father was a master barber and self-taught pianist. Encouraged by her parents to pursue music, writing and acting, Grant began taking piano lessons at eight years old, and at age nine, she took drama classes from Susan Porché. After high school, she pursued her acting career in earnest. Moving to Los Angeles, under the tutelage of her cousin, Jeni LeGon, a Hollywood tap dancer and performer, Grant was cast in James V. Hatch and C. Bernard Jackson’s Fly Blackbird. She moved with the show to New York City, where she also earned her B.A. degree in English and theatre at CUNY’s Lehman College, graduating Summa Cum Laude.

It was in New York that the writer, musician and performer consolidated her talents. While cast in Jean Genet’s long-running play, The Blacks, Grant began studying acting with Herbert Berhof and Lloyd Richards. As a result of her stage work, she won a major role in the daytime series Edge of Night. She also began to write a musical score with Vinnette Carroll, with whom she was to enjoy a successful collaboration that included, Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope, The Ups and Downs of Theophilis Maitland, Step Lively, Boy and Croesus and the Witch. Grants other Broadway credits include Your Arms Too Short to Box With God in 1976 and Working in 1978. As a lyricist, Grant worked on Eubie in 1978 and It’s So Nice to Be Civilized in 1980. Her other credits in music and lyrics includes J. E. Franklin’s The Prodigal Sister in 1974 and music and lyrics for Phillis in 1986. She also wrote the English lyrics for Jacques Brel Blues.

Grant received a Helen Hayes Award for her performance as Sadie Delaney in a two-year tour of Having Our Say in 1996, which also ran six-weeks in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1998. She is the recipient of the National Black Theatre Festival’s Living Legend Award in 1999 and the AUDELCO’s Outstanding Pioneer Award in 2000. In February 2005, she was honored at the New Federal Theatre’s 35th Anniversary Gala.

Grant has also garnered a Grammy for Best Score from an original cast album; an OBIE Award for music and lyrics; a Drama Desk Award for lyrics and performance; an Outer Critics Circle Award for music, lyrics and performance and five Tony nominations. She is also the recipient of an NAACP Image Award.

Grant resides in New York City.

See how Micki Grant is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Micki Grant's interview, session 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Micki Grant lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Micki Grant describes her mother's family background, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Micki Grant describes her mother's childhood in Athens, Georgia
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Micki Grant recalls her experiences of segregated travel in the South
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Micki Grant describes her mother's family background, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Micki Grant describes her maternal grandmother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Micki Grant describes an heirloom from her maternal family
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Micki Grant describes her mother's family background, pt. 3
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Micki Grant recalls her mother's move to Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Micki Grant describes her father's upbringing
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Micki Grant describes her father
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Micki Grant describes her half brother
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Micki Grant talks about being a homebody
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Micki Grant talks about her mother's career
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Micki Grant describes her earliest childhood memories
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Micki Grant remembers games from her childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Micki Grant recalls her Chicago community's African American leaders
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Micki Grant remembers attending Chicago's Woodlawn Union Baptist Church
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Micki Grant recalls her introduction to music
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Micki Grant describes her early music lessons
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Micki Grant recalls the various instruments she played
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Micki Grant remembers her time at the Chicago School of Music, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Micki Grant recalls her cousins' reactions to her orchestral participation
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Micki Grant remembers her time at the Chicago School of Music, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Micki Grant describes misconceptions about African American speech, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Micki Grant describes misconceptions about African American speech, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Micki Grant remembers her early poetry
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Micki Grant remembers her cousin, Jeni LeGon
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Micki Grant recalls African American television personalities
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Micki Grant recalls her early musical inspirations
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Micki Grant recalls being prevented from applying for college scholarships
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Micki Grant recalls visiting her father's barbershop in Chicago
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Micki Grant recalls her father's artistic talents
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Micki Grant describes her family's political involvement
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Micki Grant describes her early interest in reading
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Micki Grant recalls seeing entertainers at Chicago's Regal Theater
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Micki Grant remembers movie theaters on Chicago's South Side
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Micki Grant remembers Chicago's African American theater community
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Micki Grant remembers African American film stars
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Micki Grant remembers meeting Nick Stewart in Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Micki Grant reflects upon her education
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Micki Grant narrates her photographs, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Slating of Micki Grant's interview, session 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Micki Grant recalls her move to Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Micki Grant remembers her development as an actress in Los Angeles
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Micki Grant recalls performing in 'Fly Blackbird' in New York City
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Micki Grant recalls being cast in Langston Hughes' 'Tambourines to Glory'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Micki Grant talks about working with Roscoe Lee Browne
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Micki Grant remembers the opening night of 'Tambourines to Glory'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Micki Grant recalls touring with 'Brecht on Brecht'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Micki Grant remembers how she became a composer
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Micki Grant remembers meeting Vinnette Carroll for the first time
  • Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Micki Grant describes her song, 'Step Lively, Boy'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Micki Grant recalls collaborating on 'Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Micki Grant recalls the origin of the title 'Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 14 - Micki Grant recalls her early work with Vinnette Carroll
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Micki Grant describes the impact of the musical, 'Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope'
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Micki Grant describes her compositions about historic African Americans
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Micki Grant talks about inspirational African Americans in theater
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Micki Grant talks about the presence of African Americans on Broadway
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Micki Grant describes her theater career in the 1960s and 1970s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Micki Grant recalls being cast in the soap opera 'The Edge of Night'
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Micki Grant recalls the public's reaction to her role on 'Another World'
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Micki Grant recalls her training as an actress
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Micki Grant talks about blaxploitation films
  • Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Micki Grant recalls the awards she won for 'Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope'
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Micki Grant shares her song, 'It Takes a Whole Lot of Human Feeling'
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Micki Grant describes the musical 'Alice'
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Micki Grant describes the musical 'Working'
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Micki Grant remembers working with Jennifer Holliday
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Micki Grant reflects upon her partnership with Vinnette Carroll
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Micki Grant talks about the musical 'The Color Purple'
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Micki Grant recalls joining the cast of 'Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years'
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Micki Grant recalls acting in 'Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years'
  • Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Micki Grant describes her experiences in South Africa, pt. 1
  • Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Micki Grant describes her experiences in South Africa, pt. 2
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Micki Grant describes the film version of 'Having Our Say'
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Micki Grant recalls being cast as Sadie in 'Having Our Say'
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Micki Grant reflects upon the beginning of her television career
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Micki Grant recalls her casting in 'The Edge of Night' and 'Another World'
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Micki Grant describes her family's reactions to her success
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Micki Grant recalls receiving the NAACP Image Award and the WIN Award
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Micki Grant recalls the critical reception to 'It's So Nice To Be Civilized'
  • Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Micki Grant recalls meeting August Wilson at the National Black Theatre Festival
  • Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Micki Grant recalls her keynote speech at the National Black Theatre Festival
  • Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Micki Grant reflects upon the importance of history
  • Tape: 8 Story: 11 - Micki Grant describes her hopes for the African American community
  • Tape: 8 Story: 12 - Micki Grant describes her maternal grandmother's ancestry
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Micki Grant talks about the significance of offbeat rhythms
  • Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Micki Grant describes her goals and accomplishments
  • Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Micki Grant reflects upon her legacy
  • Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Micki Grant identifies her favorite roles as an actress
  • Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Micki Grant recalls the playwrights with whom she worked as an actress
  • Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Micki Grant talks about roles for which she was cast
  • Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Micki Grant recalls experiencing housing discrimination in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Micki Grant recalls memorable opening nights
  • Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Micki Grant recalls how 'Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope' resonated with audiences
  • Tape: 9 Story: 10 - Micki Grant shares the song 'Fighting for Pharaoh'
  • Tape: 9 Story: 11 - Micki Grant narrates her photographs, pt. 2