One of my favorite actresses - and writers - Ellen Holly, sometime in the 1970s. I found this photo on her website, blackstarimploding.com. Ms. Holly is best known for breaking the color barrier in soap operas in 1968 as Carla Gray, a black woman who passed for white, on “One Life to Live.” During that period in the late 1960s and 1970s, Ms. Holly wrote several articles in the New York Times about the challenges facing Black actors. Her memoir, One Life: The Autobiography of an African American Actress is simply phenomenal. A must-read for Black actresses and writers of today. I can not recommend it highly enough.
I was named after Nichelle Nichols, so she has always had a special place in my heart. In this screen grab, she is in her most famous role, Lt. Uhura of STAR TREK, in the episode ‘Plato’s Stepchildren,’ which aired on November 22, 1968. Photo by CBS via Getty Images.
Sarah Vaughan plays the piano as Duke Ellington and Billy Eckstine look on, circa 1950. The Newark, NJ-born Ms. Vaughan studied piano as a child and went on to win first prize at the Apollo Theater’s famous Amateur Night competition. Billy Eckstine was in the audience that night and before long, Ms. Vaughan would sing with Mr. Eckstine in his band. Her recording of “The Duke Ellington Songbook, Vol. 1 and 2,” is still unmatched for its beauty and brilliance. Photo by Gilles Petard/Redferns.
Sidney Poitier and Eartha Kitt in the 1957 film “The Mark of the Hawk.” Mr. Poitier portrays a London-born African who returns home for a political position. His character’s name? Wait for it… Obam. Ms. Kitt plays his stylish wife Renee. Photo: John Springer Collection/Corbis.
Jimi Hendrix would have turned 70 years old today. As TIME magazine so aptly put it, “Who else can be heard, resoundingly, in the music of both Prince and Metallica? Funkadelic and Van Halen?” Well, no one… Photo: Barrie Wentzell.
Happy 73rd Birthday to the One and Only Tina Turner!!! At left, she is attending the opening party for “Tommy” on March 18, 1975 (Sal Traina/Conde Nast). In the picture on the right, she is attending Giorgio Armani’s fashion show in Milan on February 28,2011. (Venturelli/WireImage).