Vintage Black Glamour

Maya Angelou doing a little reading in her dressing room before her performance at the Village Vanguard in New York City. Long before she was a poet and writer and the icon we know today, Dr. Angelou was a dancer and singer of folk and calypso songs (she even recorded an album in 1957 called “Miss Calypso” and appeared in the film “Calypso Heat Wave” that same year. This photo was taken by G. Marshall Wilson, who was a staff photographer at Ebony for 33 years. Photo:


CultureSOUL *50s*: African Americans in Color c. 1950s

Photo credits:

  1. Southern California c. 1950s
  2. Southern California c. 1950s
  3. Untitled, Shady Grove, Alabama, 1956. Gordon Parks
  4. Southern California, 1956
  5. Airline Terminal, Atlanta, Georgia, 1956. Gordon Parks
  6. Bathing Beauties contest c. 1950s
  7. Coney Island, NY, 1957
  8. Location unknown c. 1950s
  9. Wedding, Southern California, 1956
  10. Rare color image from “A Great Day In Harlem” iconic Jazz photo. This close up features Marian McPartland, Mary Lou Williams and Thelonious Monk.

For more images of African Americans in color, see this Gordon Parks photo essay on the Civil Rights era recent published in HuffPost.


Today, Misty Copeland was named Principal Ballerina at American Ballet Theatre, the first Black ballerina in the company’s 75 year history. The photo on the right is Ms. Copeland being congratulated by one of her idols, Raven Wilkinson. Ms. Wilkinson was the first Black woman to dance full-time with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo in 1955 - but racism stunted much of her career in the United States. The photo on the right was taken by Gene Schiavone. The photo of Ms. Wilkinson in the 1950s was provided by her to Pointe Magazine


CultureMUSIC: Billie Holiday

As you can see from the avatar, Lady Day is a big favorite. These recently discovered photos from a French magazine are some of the most gorgeous color shots of her that I’ve seen. So ridiculously talented and so beautiful.

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.


“1965″ Selma Inspired Editorial :  A Story of the bravery, beauty, style and sacrifices of the women leaders and the everyday woman of the times.

Photography + Art Director Jasmine Durhal | Jassieuo | @jassiuo

Stylist + Wardrobe Consultant Tiffany McPherson | ONE FIND DUO | @onefindduo

Models Nell Ayeni @browngirltightcurl | Shannon Powell @shannonmichele__ | Tyler Lawrence @_mighty5| Jamila Woods@duhmilo23 | Candace @imbeaming

Graphic Design  Marcia Josephs | Musings of Krav | musingsofkrav

On Black Girl Fly Mag



Snow was a jazz musician and entertainer she became a professional performer at a young age. Appearing in numerous musical revues in the ‘20s and '30s. She was also known Queen of the Trumpet“ or ”Little Louis after Louis Armstrong, who used to call her the world’s second best jazz trumpet player besides himself. She was arrested in 1941 by the Nazis while touring in Denmark before being released on a prisoner exchange in May 1942.

I got the information from