Bill Robinson

African American Tap Dancer and Actor

Quick Overview of Bill Robinson

Bill "Bojangles" Robinson was born on May 25, 1878 in Richmond, Virginia. He earned his nickname Bojangles because of him always starting arguments. He was a tap dancer and an actor. He appeared in films and on Broadway. He eventually died on November 25, 1949.

The Dancing and Acting Star

Bojangles started his dancing career by just simply dancing in beer gardens (which are apparently outdoor bars) at the age of 5. When he hit 9 he joined a tap dancing group called The Pickaninny Chorus. In 1891 at the age of 14, Bojangles started dancing in nightclubs to black audiences. In 1908 he met Marty Forkins who became his manager. Shortly after, he decided to take a break from his dancing career and serve for the military as a rifleman. After WWI in 1928, he starred on Broadway on a musical called Blackbirds of 1982, which featured the famous "stair dance". This show was a breakthrough for Bojangles, and he was recognized as "Bojangles". He developed the catchphrase "Everything's copacetic," which made him look like even more of a positive man. He starred in a total of 14 Hollywood movies. He even starred with Shirley Temple. He was of course, put in stereotypical african american roles, but he didn't seem to mind it. He however, died at the age of 71 on November 25th, 1949.