Pryor's family was tight-knit, entrepreneurial, cunning, and quick to defend its livelihood.
How a young boy in a hard place learned to escape from, and act out, his troubles onstage.
Richard, like many black children in Peoria, struggled to find his place in the city's schools. He attended seven of them in ten years.
Peoria's black population — 10% of the city — had poor job prospects and housing options. But it was on the move.
Prostitution, gambling, vice — Peoria was known in the 1930s and 1940s as a wide-open town where everyone had a piece of the action.
Peoria's reform elements — its Jaycees, businessmen, and middle-class church-goers — banded together to clean up the city.