Posts tagged "1940s"

My father, Erskine Butterfield, was a musician in Newark, NJ during the 1930s-1950s. He is credited with helping to create what is known as “Cocktail Music.” He had his own weekly radio program atop Bamberger’s Department Store in downtown Newark at WOR radio. One of his guests was a then unknown singer, Miss Lena Horne. He also recorded for the Decca and New Brunswick labels, and was a protege of Willie “The Lion Smith”, because he had a strong left hand; he played and composed Boogie Woogie music.”

I am so pleased and impressed with the submissions to #myVBG! We have beautiful mothers, grandmothers, aunts, family friends and fathers like Jacqueline Butterfield’s father, Erskine Butterfield. Jacqueline’s note and photo of her dad on #myVBG made my “Nichelle’s Picks” page.

I would love to see your family and friends on on #myVBG. Upload your photos at http://myvbg.com/ with her name, city, date/location of photo, a fun VBG-ish fact about her with #myVBG and #vbgbook. I am selecting a few pictures on the “Nichelle’s Picks” page but really, every submission is my “favorite.” Thank you!

I am excited to announce Vintage Black Glamour’s fan site #myVBG! It was created so we can see and properly admire the VBG icons in YOUR life! I want to see women in your family like your grandmother who may remind you of Lena Horne or Diahann Carroll; a favorite diva aunt with the zest of a Josephine Baker or Gladys Bentley; a mother who brings to mind the heady brilliance of a Dr. Maya Angelou or Ruby Dee. The first three pictures are already up, my mother, grandmother and the beautiful lady picture here, my late great-grandmother Nellie Parson Swilley, my beloved “Mama Nell” in the 1940s. She was so lovely and sharp that a lady tried to buy the hat off of her head after church one day. This is not some family legend - I was actually standing there and watching in amazement at Sandy Mount Baptist Church in Smithfield,Virginia as this lady tried to buy her hat!) Mama Nell also taught me how to cook – and called me Sugarlump.I would be honored to have you share the divas in your family here for the world to see. 
Upload your photos at http://myvbg.com/ and tell us a brief story about her name, city, date and location of photo, a fun VBG-ish fact about her and tag me on Twitter (@VintageBlkGlam) or here on Tumblr with the hashtag #myVBG and#vbgbook. Thank you – I can’t wait to see your #myVBG!

I am excited to announce Vintage Black Glamour’s fan site #myVBG! It was created so we can see and properly admire the VBG icons in YOUR life! I want to see women in your family like your grandmother who may remind you of Lena Horne or Diahann Carroll; a favorite diva aunt with the zest of a Josephine Baker or Gladys Bentley; a mother who brings to mind the heady brilliance of a Dr. Maya Angelou or Ruby Dee. The first three pictures are already up, my mother, grandmother and the beautiful lady picture here, my late great-grandmother Nellie Parson Swilley, my beloved “Mama Nell” in the 1940s. She was so lovely and sharp that a lady tried to buy the hat off of her head after church one day. This is not some family legend - I was actually standing there and watching in amazement at Sandy Mount Baptist Church in Smithfield,Virginia as this lady tried to buy her hat!) Mama Nell also taught me how to cook – and called me Sugarlump.

I would be honored to have you share the divas in your family here for the world to see.

Upload your photos at http://myvbg.com/ and tell us a brief story about her name, city, date and location of photo, a fun VBG-ish fact about her and tag me on Twitter (@VintageBlkGlam) or here on Tumblr with the hashtag #myVBG and#vbgbook. Thank you – I can’t wait to see your #myVBG!

I am saddened to learn that Alice Coachman, the first Black woman to win a gold medal at the Olympic Games (London 1948 for the high jump) died today at the age of 90 near her home in Albany, Georgia. In this photo, Ms. Coachman (far right) takes a break and watches the 1948 London games with fellow athletes Emma Reed, of Nashville, Tennessee (broad and high jumper) and Nell C. Jackson, of Tuskegee, Alabama, (200 meters and relay. Photo: Bettman/Corbis.

I am saddened to learn that Alice Coachman, the first Black woman to win a gold medal at the Olympic Games (London 1948 for the high jump) died today at the age of 90 near her home in Albany, Georgia. In this photo, Ms. Coachman (far right) takes a break and watches the 1948 London games with fellow athletes Emma Reed, of Nashville, Tennessee (broad and high jumper) and Nell C. Jackson, of Tuskegee, Alabama, (200 meters and relay. Photo: Bettman/Corbis.

Sara Lou Harris, one of the first Black models to appear in national advertisements, in the late 1940s. “We launched black girls into the modeling field and I was the first to become a national poster girl for cigarette advertising,” she told Ebony in 1974. The Bennett College graduate also toured Europe as a singer and had a brief career as a radio announcer and an actress. On February 14, 2011, she married Nathaniel Dixon in Silver Spring, Maryland. Photo: Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library

Sara Lou Harris, one of the first Black models to appear in national advertisements, in the late 1940s. “We launched black girls into the modeling field and I was the first to become a national poster girl for cigarette advertising,” she told Ebony in 1974. The Bennett College graduate also toured Europe as a singer and had a brief career as a radio announcer and an actress. On February 14, 2011, she married Nathaniel Dixon in Silver Spring, Maryland. Photo: Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library

Every Memorial Day, I like to remind people about the Double V campaign. It was started in 1942 by the Pittsburgh Courier, an historic African-American newspaper, just as the United States entered World War II. “Double V” stood for “Victory Abroad and Victory at Home.” The purpose of the campaign was to call continued attention to the legal injustices and segregation that blacks dealt with as American citizens on American soil and as soldiers abroad within the (segregated) armed forces. Naturally, J. Edgar Hoover considered the Double V Campaign an act of sedition. When Black Americans were hesitant to serve in the military for a country in which they were legally treated as second class citizens, there was no understanding, only accusations of treason.To appreciate the role of the Pittsburgh Courier in this campaign, keep in mind that white newspapers did not cover Blacks unless there was a crime involved or, of course, if the Black in question was an athlete or an entertainer. White newspapers did not cover our births, deaths, weddings or any other slice of life-type activity that we did just like everyone else. That is why, in part, Ebony magazine was born. And they certainly did not report on racial discrimination (especially within the military who banned black newspapers from its libraries during the Double V Campaign) the way the Black press did.The picture above was taken in 1942 on 119th Street, between Lenox and 7th (now Malcolm X Blvd and Adam Clayton Powell Blvd).

Every Memorial Day, I like to remind people about the Double V campaign. It was started in 1942 by the Pittsburgh Courier, an historic African-American newspaper, just as the United States entered World War II. “Double V” stood for “Victory Abroad and Victory at Home.” The purpose of the campaign was to call continued attention to the legal injustices and segregation that blacks dealt with as American citizens on American soil and as soldiers abroad within the (segregated) armed forces. Naturally, J. Edgar Hoover considered the Double V Campaign an act of sedition. When Black Americans were hesitant to serve in the military for a country in which they were legally treated as second class citizens, there was no understanding, only accusations of treason.

To appreciate the role of the Pittsburgh Courier in this campaign, keep in mind that white newspapers did not cover Blacks unless there was a crime involved or, of course, if the Black in question was an athlete or an entertainer. White newspapers did not cover our births, deaths, weddings or any other slice of life-type activity that we did just like everyone else. That is why, in part, Ebony magazine was born. And they certainly did not report on racial discrimination (especially within the military who banned black newspapers from its libraries during the Double V Campaign) the way the Black press did.

The picture above was taken in 1942 on 119th Street, between Lenox and 7th (now Malcolm X Blvd and Adam Clayton Powell Blvd).

I would like to extend Easter greetings to everyone celebrating today with this beautiful photograph of two women in Harlem on Easter Sunday 1947 by the legendary French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004). My favorite fun fact about Mr. Cartier-Bresson is that he and Langston Hughes were roommates as young struggling artists in Mexico in the 1930s. Photo: Henri Cartier-Bresson/Magnum Photos.

Pearl Bailey was born 96 years ago today in Newport News, Virginia. As a late bloomer who has yet to finish her degree at NYU, my favorite fact about Ms. Bailey (shown here in 1946 by Carl Van Vechten) was that she earned a B.A. in Theology from Georgetown University in 1985 at the age of 67! Initially, she majored in French, but she switched to theology “Because it’s easier to know the Lord that it is to know French.” Photo: Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library