Jack Brown (March 5, 1885 - unknown) was an African American[2] actor and drag queen.

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Throughout the early 1900s, Brown toured America and Europe (most notably Paris) with the travelling group Les Nègres.[2] In 1902, filmmaker Louis Lumière filmed Brown and his group dancing the Cake-Walk,[5] which remains the oldest known video of drag performers.[4] In 1913, Brown traveled to Moscow for a second time to participate in an ill-fated five-month tour. He returned to America briefly, however at the start of the First World War, left again for London, where he spent the next few years touring. He married a Scottish woman, Vera MacFarlane, in 1917, and returned to France by 1919, after which there is no further record of him.[2]



  1. 1.0 1.1 "Two black actors, one in drag, dance together on stage. Coloured process print, ca. 1903." on <>. Published by Digital Transgender Archive. (Archived on 2022-01-19)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 "Gods and Foolish Grandeur" on <>. Published 2020-08-14 by Blogspot. (Archived on 2022-01-19)
  3. "Jack Brown's Passport photo (Oct.4, 1918)" on <>. Published 2020-06-06 by Jennings, Dulcie. (no backup information provided)
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Channing Joseph: Historical Research and Discoveries" by Joseph, Channing on <>(no backup information provided)
  5. "Le Cake-Walk au Nouveau Cirque - Louis Lumière (1902)" by Lumière, Louis on <>. Published by Theodore W. Vodou. (no backup information provided)
  6. "William Dorsey Swann: The first "Queen of Drag"" by Miss Peppermint on <>. Published 2021-01-10 by American Masters. (Archived on 2022-01-17)
  7. "Let's Talk About William Dorsey Swann, the slave who became a Queen" by Petrovnia, Alexander on Published 2021-03-17 by Medium. (Archived on 2022-01-17)