Posts tagged "African American"
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/

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/

Did you know that you can get a sneak peak at my new book? When you go to http://vintageblackglamourbook.com/ click the big red “Look Inside” button to get an idea of what you will be getting in June. This page features Princess Kouka of Sudan (Paul Robeson’s 1930s co-star) and the legendary dancer Jeni LeGon.

Sunday Best: Sammy Davis Jr. (1925-1990) with Gregory Hines (1946-2003) in a promotional photo for their 1989 film, TAP. 

Cecil Williams in the 1950s - and today. I am taking the liberty of posting Mr. Williams again so people can see him now. From my original post: I thought about this searing, beautiful picture today in light of recent events in the United States. I, like many others, shared it a few years ago on my blog, but it was only today that I finally found the name of the man in the photograph! His name is Cecil Williams and, he happens to be a photographer himself. The photo was probably taken by Mr. Williams mentor, John Goodwin, who joined him for a talk at Richland Library in Columbia, South Carolina in September 2013 about their experiences as black photographers in South Carolina during Jim Crow and the Civil Rights era. Mr. Williams, an Orangeburg, South Carolina native was a correspondent for Jet Magazine when he was only 15 and made national news after shooting some crucial pictures after the 1968 Orangeburg Massacre. This picture of Mr. Williams currently hangs over the water fountain on the Garden level of the Richland Library in Columbia, South Carolina.

Josephine Baker in Paris, 1940. This picture was taken around the time she joined the French Counterespionage Services and became a counterespionage agent. She was awarded the Croix de Guerre and the Medal of Resistance with Rosette by the French government for her efforts during World War II. Photo: Studio Harcourt, Ministry of Culture (France).

Josephine Baker in Paris, 1940. This picture was taken around the time she joined the French Counterespionage Services and became a counterespionage agent. She was awarded the Croix de Guerre and the Medal of Resistance with Rosette by the French government for her efforts during World War II. Photo: Studio Harcourt, Ministry of Culture (France).

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Harry Belafonte share a good laugh together. Dr. King was born 85 years ago today in Atlanta, Georgia. This photo was released by Alfred A. Knopf in 2012 upon the publication of Mr. Belafonte’s memoir, “My Song.” Mr. Belafonte always put his money where his mouth was when it came to the civil rights movement. Among numerous financial commitments he made to the movement, he raised $50,000 in bail money to get Dr. King out of jail in Birmingham, Alabama.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Harry Belafonte share a good laugh together. Dr. King was born 85 years ago today in Atlanta, Georgia. This photo was released by Alfred A. Knopf in 2012 upon the publication of Mr. Belafonte’s memoir, “My Song.” Mr. Belafonte always put his money where his mouth was when it came to the civil rights movement. Among numerous financial commitments he made to the movement, he raised $50,000 in bail money to get Dr. King out of jail in Birmingham, Alabama.

Charles “Tarzan” Cooper, shown circa 1939, was a member of the New York Rens basketball team - one of the first all-Black basketball teams in the United States. All-Black teams existed up until around 1950 when the NBA integrated their teams The New-York Historical Society is sponsoring a scholarship contest that was inspired by their upcoming exhibition on The Black Fives, which is about the history of early 20th-century African American basketball teams. Photo: The Black Fives Foundation/New York Historical Society.