Posts tagged "African American"
“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 thrilled to have Janet Collins, the first Black prima ballerina at The Metropolitan Opera, in my upcoming book. But it also thrills me to see her getting more recognition and exposure in other ventures. My pal Karyn Parsons (Yes, that Karyn Parsons…) is the founder of Sweet Blackberry, whose mission is to bring little-known stories of African American achievement to kids. She created a Kickstarter to fund the 20-minute short on Janet Collins’ life that she is producing with Chris Rock narrating. Sweet Blackberry has produced two previous shorts for kids (on Henry Box Brown and Garrett Morgan) narrated by Alfre Woodard and Queen Latifah. Please check out the video at this link and donate - even as little as $1 can help! - so we can get this video in homes, schools and libraries around the world.https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/798791271/the-janet-collins-story-presented-by-sweet-blackbe
Today is the last day to pre-order in time to have your name listed inside of my Vintage Black Glamour book and have your name (or a loved one) listed in the Roll of Honour, a special set of pages to thank early supporters. You can still pre-order before the September release, but if you want to see your name in print, now is the time! You can pre-order by clicking HERE. Thank you!
With “Vintage Black Glamour,” author Nichelle Gainer weaves a story of civil rights, celebrity, and everyday beauty
“Vintage Black Glamour is a bit like a high-minded celebrity Instagram feed that challenges and adds to American pop culture iconography… Gainer’s collection of images isn’t your grade-school Black History Month bulletin board. “Vintage Black Glamour” reminds you that these people had friends and confidants and lovers and charming idiosyncrasies, and that’s what Gainer wants you to see: humanity. “Every month is Black History Month on ‘Vintage Black Glamour,’” she said.” Many thanks to Soraya Nadia McDonald for this fantastic article on VBG in today’s Washington Post! I think she did a good job of explaining what I am doing with Vintage Black Glamour.
Joyce Bryant is one of the reasons I couldn’t wait to get Vintage Black Glamour in book form. This photograph was taken by Carl Van Vechten on May 28, 1953 at the height of her career. Even with her undeniable soprano (with a 4 octave range) the focus was on her sexy image. Once dubbed the “black Marilyn Monroe,” constant mentions in Walter Winchell’s gossip column made her a star and she was widely considered the first dark-skinned Black woman to be considered a sex symbol inside and outside of the black community. Joyce earned nearly $1 million at her peak, but her upbringing in a very strict Seventh Day Adventist home left her feeling guilty about sex and her sexy image. According to Dorothy Dandridge’s biographer Donald Bogle, Dorothy pulled Joyce aside after a date in still-segregated Miami Beach and asked for advice on negotiating her nightclub fees (“What do you do? How do you get ask?) She was also very impressed with her stage presence (“How do you walk up on that stage and stay as calm as you are? It seems so easy for you.”) After a series of trying events, Joyce Bryant left show business at the top of her career and returned home and to the church. She worked with the church for 20 years, singing, ministering to the poor, enduring sexism and lies from people who were less than forgiving about her past. Finally, disappointed with the people in her church, she left and eventually made her way back to the stage. After doing opera in Europe, South America and the New York Opera Company, she had a successful cabaret run in the late 1970s and 1980s. As far as I can tell, Ms. Bryant is still with us (see the link in the comments). If you would like to pre-order my book, go to this link - and thank you! http://vintageblackglamourbook.com/