CATEGORY: Black History

Josephine Baker – An African-American in Paris

THE ABOVE PHOTOGRAPH: Paris: Henri Manuel, (1927). Vintage original 9 1/2 x 7″ (24 x 18 cm.) black-and-white print still photo, France. Photo has on verso a stamp of photographer Henri Manuel and a 1927 date stamp, NEAR FINE. Joséphine Baker (born Freda Josephine McDonald; naturalized French Joséphine Baker; June 3, 1906 – April 12, 1975) at the age of 13 went from being a “street child”,  living in the slums of St. Louis, sleeping in cardboard shelters, scavenging fo…

Clarence Muse – America’s First Black Movie Star

Clarence Muse (October 14, 1889 – October 13, 1979) was an African American actor, screenwriter, director, singer, and composer. He was the first African American to appear in a starring role in a film, 1929’s Hearts in Dixie. He acted for 50 years and appeared in more than 150 films. He was inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame in 1973.

Lena Horne: African American Icon

In honor of Black History Month we celebrate the ”What Becomes A Legend Most” icon, Lena Horne. When Lena Horne was asked to become the image for Blackglama’s 1969 ad campaign poster (see above), she follows in the heels of such female icons as Marlene Dietrich and Joan Crawford; she was the first African American celebrity to do so. For more information see: https://www.walterfilm.com/shop/posters/lena-horne-blackglama-poster/

“Passing” Reflected in Three Films

The Netflex film Passing deals with the African American topic that has come to be known as “Passing” when a person classified as a member of a racial group is accepted or perceived (“passes”) as a member of another. Historically, the term has been used primarily in the United States to describe a person of color or of multiracial ancestry who assimilated into the white majority to escape the legal and social conventions of racial segreg…

Three Legendary African American Female Vocalists

Mahalia Jackson, Marian Anderson, and Odetta are three legendary female vocalists who established the African American woman in the first half of the 20th Century as, not only a significant voice in the Civil Rights Movement, but a defining inspiration for both female and male vocalists.