Posts tagged "black women"
pretty-period:

Vintage ‘Pretty.Period.’
“Sarah Vaughan… in her dressing room in Chicago, 1948. I wonder which fragrance she was using? Photo: Ted Williams.” 
Photo Courtesy of Vintage Black Glamour 
Pre-Order the Vintage Black Glamour book TODAY!

Many thanks to Dr. Yaba Blay for featuring Vintage Black Glamour and sharing the book information with her fans on her amazing project Pretty.Period. Dr. Blay is the Co-Director of Africana Studies at Drexel University in Philadelphia and the author of (1) Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race, a book that explores racial identity in terms of “Blackness,” racial ambiguity and the politics of skin color. She describes her ‪#‎PrettyPeriod‬ project as a “visual tribute to brown skin. A visional testimony of Black beauty. A vision board for healing.” The picture below is one of my favorites: the legendary Sarah Vaughan(who will be featured on a postage stamp soon!) in her dressing room in 1948.

pretty-period:

Vintage ‘Pretty.Period.’

Sarah Vaughan in her dressing room in Chicago, 1948. I wonder which fragrance she was using? Photo: Ted Williams.” 

Photo Courtesy of Vintage Black Glamour 

Pre-Order the Vintage Black Glamour book TODAY!

Many thanks to Dr. Yaba Blay for featuring Vintage Black Glamour and sharing the book information with her fans on her amazing project Pretty.Period. Dr. Blay is the Co-Director of Africana Studies at Drexel University in Philadelphia and the author of (1) Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race, a book that explores racial identity in terms of “Blackness,” racial ambiguity and the politics of skin color. She describes her ‪#‎PrettyPeriod‬ project as a “visual tribute to brown skin. A visional testimony of Black beauty. A vision board for healing.” The picture below is one of my favorites: the legendary Sarah Vaughan(who will be featured on a postage stamp soon!) in her dressing room in 1948.

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.

Whenever I look at the great singer, dancer, actress and producer Aida Overton Walker, I think about how awesome it would be to see someone like Anika Noni Rose or Audra McDonald bring her to life on the stage. Born on Valentine’s Day in 1880 in New York City (some accounts say Richmond, VA, but my source is “Black Women in America,” edited by the foremost historian of black women, Darlene Clark Hine. Ms. Overton Walker changed her name from “Ada” to “Aida” late in her short but storied career, which began in the chorus of Black Patti’s Troubadours, the troupe founded by the one of the first black opera singers, Sissieretta Jones. She was best known for her work with the comedian and singer Bert Williams and her husband George Walker and, upon joining their Williams & Walker act around 1899, she choreographed all of their routines. She won critical acclaim for her solo performances, especially in the 1902 musical “In Dahomey” and sang three of the shows most popular tunes including “Leader of the Colored Aristocracy,” a song written by James Weldon Johnson (one of her most ardent admirers) and the brilliant composer and violinist, Will Marion Cook, expressed the desire of her character’s (Rosetta Lightfoot) desire for more opportunities in life. Ms. Overton Walker is also credited with popularizing the cakewalk, the 19th century dance craze that originated on slave plantations. Keenly aware about stereotypes and how they affected black people, on and offstage addressed members of the black elite who took issue with blacks in show business in a searing 1905 essay for the Colored American entitled “Colored Men and Women on the Stage.” In the essay, she wrote, “Some of our so-called society people regard the Stage as a place to be ashamed of…. In this age we are all fighting the one problem—that is the color problem! I venture to think and dare to state that our profession does more toward the alleviation of color prejudice than any other profession among colored people. The fact of the matter is this, that we come in contact with more white people in a week than other professional colored people in a year and more than some meet in a whole decade.” When her husband became ill around 1908, Ms. Overton Walker donned his costume and performed his routines along with her own until after his death in 1911. Some accounts of her life incorrectly report a decline in her career after the death of Mr. Walker, however, in 1912, she had great success touring the United States in a solo show as “Salome.” The photo here is Ms. Overton Walker in character as Salome, from the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. Tragically, amidst her very successful career, Aida Overton Walker died at the age of 34 on October 11, 1914, after a brief illness.

I left quite a bit out of this lengthy post, but Ms. Overton Walker is featured prominently in my book, Vintage Black Glamour, which will be published in Spring 2014 by Rocket 88 Books. Please visit the book site and register for updates and pre-order information. http://vintageblackglamourbook.com/

I am happy to announce that Vintage Black Glamour - THE BOOK! -  is scheduled to be published in Spring 2014!  Starting today, you can register your interest in the book (registering is different from pre-ordering, which will be available starting early February) at vintageblackglamourbook.com. My publisher is Rocket 88 an imprint of London-based Essential Works, and after you register, you will be contacted by email in early 2014 with further details about the book and, if you wish, you may pre-order at that time. Once again, thank you so much! ~ Nichelle Gainer

Diahann Carroll and New York Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm on April 22, 1974 at the premiere of Ms. Carroll’s movie, “Claudine.” In her 2008 memoir, “The Legs Are The Last To Go,” Ms. Carroll talks about hosting a fundraiser for Congresswoman Chisholm’s 1972 presidential bid at her Beverly Hills home. Photo: AP. 

Diahann Carroll and New York Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm on April 22, 1974 at the premiere of Ms. Carroll’s movie, “Claudine.” In her 2008 memoir, “The Legs Are The Last To Go,” Ms. Carroll talks about hosting a fundraiser for Congresswoman Chisholm’s 1972 presidential bid at her Beverly Hills home. Photo: AP. 

#MOW50 Civil rights campaigner and organizer Karen House holds up buttons for the ‘March on Washington for Jobs & Freedom,’ several weeks before the August 28, 1963 event. The buttons, which depict a black hand and a white hand clasped in solidarity, were supplied by the NAACP. Photo by Arnold Sachs/Getty Images.

#MOW50 Civil rights campaigner and organizer Karen House holds up buttons for the ‘March on Washington for Jobs & Freedom,’ several weeks before the August 28, 1963 event. The buttons, which depict a black hand and a white hand clasped in solidarity, were supplied by the NAACP. Photo by Arnold Sachs/Getty Images.