Eartha Kitt (From "Anna Lucasta"), by Charles White, 1958

Charles White, Artist
Eartha Kitt (From "Anna Lucasta") , 1958

Wolff crayon on board
48 5/8 x 27 1/8 in. (123.5 x 68.9 cm)
Credit Line
Private collection. Photo by Ed Glendinning

This drawing portrays a young Eartha Kitt playing the role of Anna Lucasta, a young woman from Los Angeles who makes a living on the streets of San Diego after her father kicks her out of his house. Anna seduces many men, eventually finding true love, but her father tries to sabotage her relationship, only giving up on his deathbed. Anna Lucasta was originally produced by the American Negro Theatre Company in Harlem, whose mission was to "to break down the barriers of black participation in the theater; to portray Negro life as they honestly saw it; to fill in the gap of a black theater which did not exist." Anna Lucasta was adapted for film in 1958, with Kitt and Sammy Davis Jr. in the leading roles.