Posts tagged "1940s"
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

I really believe you are going to faint when you see the gorgeous photos I have of Margot Webb and her dance partner, Harold Norton, in Vintage Black Glamour. Their photos only tell part of their story. Their undeniable elegance turned out to be a blessing – and a curse for their career. You’ll read more about it in the book, but Ms. Webb herself told the dance scholar Brenda Dixon-Gottschild that dwindling opportunities solidified her decision to return to school. After her dance days were long gone, she earned a bachelor’s degree at Hunter College in 1940 and a master’s degree in education from Columbia University Teachers College in 1948.

Eartha Kitt stopping the trolley car in Istanbul with a pose (c.1949). This picture was shared via the Eartha Kitt fan page which is managed by Ms. Kitt’s daughter, Kitt Shapiro, owner of Simply Eartha If you would like to pre-order my book, go to this link - and thank you! http://vintageblackglamourbook.com/