Posts tagged "African American women"
“My brother and I called her Aunt Reesie, her friends called her Reesie. She worked hard on her acting career while supporting herself working in the Post Office all those years of workshops and off-off broadway plays paid off when she was picked as one of the original members of the Negro Ensemble Company. This led to movies and a part in the original Broadway play the WIZ. I really miss her because she was the one member of my family who seemed to understand me and had faith in me.”

This #myVBG on Clarice Taylor (1917-2011) was submitted by Tripp Taylor. I’m going to take a wild guess that you recognize her from later in her career on a very popular classic television show.

My brother and I called her Aunt Reesie, her friends called her Reesie. She worked hard on her acting career while supporting herself working in the Post Office all those years of workshops and off-off broadway plays paid off when she was picked as one of the original members of the Negro Ensemble Company. This led to movies and a part in the original Broadway play the WIZ. I really miss her because she was the one member of my family who seemed to understand me and had faith in me.”

This #myVBG on Clarice Taylor (1917-2011) was submitted by Tripp Taylor. I’m going to take a wild guess that you recognize her from later in her career on a very popular classic television show.

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!

Diahann Carroll poses with her Tony for “No Strings” (1962) with fellow winners, Robert Morse (“How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying”), Margaret Leighton (“Night of the Iguana”), and Paul Scofield (“A Man for All Seasons”) at the Waldorf-Astoria on April 29, 1962. Photo: Corbis.

Diahann Carroll poses with her Tony for “No Strings” (1962) with fellow winners, Robert Morse (“How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying”), Margaret Leighton (“Night of the Iguana”), and Paul Scofield (“A Man for All Seasons”) at the Waldorf-Astoria on April 29, 1962. Photo: Corbis.

A brief update on my Vintage Black Glamour book: If you pre-ordered the book, I trust that you received an email this morning from my publisher, Rocket 88 books. The good news is that the book looks great. I can’t tell you how excited to have so many never-before-seen images printed for the first time in my (first!) book. The not-so-good news is that the time my publishers and I spent securing many of these images from archives around the world has delayed the production to September 2014. The book is at the printer now in the beginning stages of the process that will bring it to your doorstep in the fall. 

I would like to thank everyone who has graciously pre-ordered the book and apologize for any inconvenience the delay presents to you. If you feel the wait will be too long, my publisher will happily send you a full refund. However, I hope you don’t mind sticking with me just a little bit longer because I really believe you will LOVE the result. Click here so you can get a sneak peek of some of the pages (updated from the previous “sneak peek”). Thank you again for all of your support, enthusiasm and interest - especially all of you “old-timers.” I am grateful for every bit of it.

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.

The great Charles “Teenie” Harris took this photo of ladies club members “Debs About Town” in 1941 on a step outside of the University of Pittsburgh’s Falk School. Photo: Carnegie Museum of Art.