african american entertainment

“Ms. Esther Jones, known by her stage name, "Baby Esther,” was an African-American singer and entertainer of the late 1920s. She performed regularly at The Cotton Club in Harlem. Her singing trademark was…“boop oop a doop, "in a babyish voice. Singer Helen Kane purportedly saw Baby’s act in 1928 and "adopted” her style in her hit song “I Wanna Be Loved By You.” Ms. Jones’ singing style, along with Ms. Kane’s hit song, went on to become the inspiration for Max Fleischer’s ‘BETTY BOOP.’“

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A young Shy Tracee Ellis Ross sings with her mother Diana Ross and sisters

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Black history month day 24: dancer and entertainer Bill ‘Bojangles’ Robinson.

Bill Robinson was born Luther Robinson on May 25th, 1878. His parents died when he was eight and he was raised by his grandmother. From the age of five, Robinson begin dancing for spare change and was eventually chosen as a pickaninny for a local minstrel show (pickaninnies were cute black children who were basically extras and background characters in minstrel shows).

At age 13 Robinson ran off to Washington DC and did a series of odd jobs. Later he joined the Army as a rifleman during the Spanish American war. By 1900 Robinson became active full-time in a career of vaudeville performance, starring in dance troupes, comedy duos, and even blackface and minstrel performances.

At times Robinson came under some heavy criticism for his participation in and tacit acceptance of racial stereotypes of the era, with critics calling him an Uncle Tom figure. However, he did do many things to help improve the situation of blacks, including persuading the Dallas police department to hire its first African American policemen and lobbying President Roosevelt during World War II for more equitable treatment of African American soldiers.

Robinson was the best known and most highly paid African American entertainer in the first half of the twentieth century. He was especially well-known for his collaborations with child star Shirley Temple, and the two of them made the first interracial dance team in Hollywood film history. Robinson also starred with Lena Horne and Cab Calloway in “Stormy Weather”, a film loosely based on Robinson’s life.

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If you’re going to message me on some weak ass bullshit. DONT! Because I’ll treat the fuck out of your ass! 😊 I’m a very nice person, but don’t come in my messages being disrespectful to me, especially when you don’t even know me. A person messages me calling me a fucking moron because of that Baby Esther post I put up… Well FYI. I took that post from another social media app and decided to share it. The woman in that picture was said to be a White Russian model or whoever the fuck she was. Look, that wasn’t even the point & people or missing it. Betty Boop was a cartoon character based off of a real African American woman entertainer who went by the name of Baby Esther. She got famous because of a hit song she used to sing called, “Boop Oop A Doop.” Just because someone who WASNT BLACK in that picture doesn’t mean the facts are false! Russian model or not, Betty Boop has always been portrayed as white because of society at the time. Baby Esther was a singer of the 1920’s… She would’ve never gotten credit either way because of her ethnicity. African Americans/ black people have never gotten credit in history. Period.

Read the full transcript of the remarks Jesse Williams delivered at the BET Awards here:

“Before we get into it, I just want to say I brought my parents out tonight. I just want to thank them for being here, for teaching me to focus on comprehension over career, [and] that I make sure I learn what the schools were afraid to teach us, and also thank my amazing wife for changing my life.

Now, this award, this is not for me. This is for the real organizers all over the country, the activists, the civil rights attorneys, the struggling parents and families and teachers and students that are realizing that a system built to divide and impoverish and destroy us cannot stand if we do. All right?

It’s kind of basic mathematics that the more we learn about who we are and how we got here, the more we will mobilize. Now this is also in particular for the black women who have spent their lifetimes dedicated to nurturing everyone before themselves. We can and will do better for you.

Now, what we’ve been doing is looking at the data and we know that police somehow manage to deescalate, disarm, and not kill white people every day. So what is going to happen is we’re going to have equal rights and justice in our own country or we will restructure their function and ours.

Yesterday would have been young Tamir Rice’s fourteenth birthday. So I don’t want to hear any more about how far we’ve come when paid public servants can pull a drive-by on a twelve-year old playing alone in a park in broad daylight, killing him on television and then going home to make a sandwich. Tell Rekia Boyd how it’s so much better to live in 2012 than it is to live in 1612 or 1712. Tell that to Eric Garner. Tell that to Sandra Bland. Tell that to Dorian Hunt.

Now the thing is though, all of us in here getting money, that alone isn’t going to stop this. All right? Dedicating our lives to getting money just to give it right back for someone’s brand on our bodies – when we’ve spent centuries praying with brands on our bodies – and now we pray to get paid for brands on our bodies??? There has been no war that we have not fought and died on the front lines of. There has been no job we haven’t done. There’s no tax they haven’t levied against us. And we’ve paid all of them.

But freedom is somehow always conditional here. “You’re free,” they keep telling us…

But she would have been alive if she hadn’t acted so…free.

Now, freedom is always coming in the hereafter. But, you know what though? The hereafter is a hustle. We want it now. And let’s get a couple of things straight, just a little side note: the burden of the brutalized is not to comfort the bystander. That’s not our job, all right? Stop with all that. If you have a critique for the resistance, for our resistance, then you’d better have an established record of critique of our oppression. If you have no interest in equal rights for black people then do not make suggestions to those who do. Sit down!

We’ve been floatin’ this country on credit for centuries yo! And we’re done watching and waiting while this invention called whiteness uses and abuses us, burying black people out of sight and out of mind while extracting our culture, our dollars, our entertainment like oil, black gold, ghettoizing and demeaning our creations and stealing them, gentrifying our genius, and then trying us on like costumes, before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit.

The thing is though, the thing is: just because we’re magic don’t mean we’re not real.

Thank you.”

Halle Berry as Frankie, a gogo dancer who unknowingly suffers from dissociative identity disorder, in the drama film Frankie & Alice (Canada, 2010)

The film, based on a true story, was directed by Geoffrey Sax and co-produced by Halle Berry. Berry’s performance earned her a Golden Globes nomination for Best Actress, an African-American Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress, and the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture | photo credit: CodeBlack Entertainment

Late in 1814, chilled by raw Atlantic westerlies blowing across the desolate Devonshire moor, nearly one thousand African American seamen and five thousand white shipmates slung their hammocks in the British Admiralty’s Dartmoor Prison. As prisoners of war, they craved peace and liberty.

Racial dynamics worked differently among seamen in Dartmoor Prison than at sea. If the forecastle of deep-water ships was sometimes a shared middle ground where emphasis on role and opposition to authority mitigated racial distinctions, the climate at Dartmoor encouraged blackness and whiteness to flourish.

Head and shoulders above the other prisoners, even without his bearskin grenadier’s cap, towered a “stout black” privateersman named Richard Crafus—known in Dartmoor as King Dick. In a world where most sailors were under 5'9 (and the average height was 5'6), Richard Crafus stood an imposing 6'3, with “a frame well proportioned” and “strength far greater than both height and proportions together.”

Invincible as Stagolee and imperious as Haiti’s Emperor Henri Christophe, King Dick was the best-known man in the prison, where he played to white sailors’ stereotypes for his own purposes. Crafus, who also called himself Richard Seaver, quickly dominated the blacks’ barracks after arriving in October 1814. Under his rule, African Americans organized, disciplined, and entertained themselves, but did nothing to discourage white inmates from visiting the black enclave as customers.

“In No 4 the Black’s Prison,” wrote a white sailor, “I have spent considerable of my time, for in the 3rd story or Cock loft they have reading whiting Fenceing, Boxing Danceing & many other schoolswhich is very diverting to a young Person, indeed their is more amusement in this Prisson than in all the rest of them.”

Despite extensive interracial interactions and a prison-camp moment as pregnant with possibilities as it was burdened with despair, black and white sailors at Dartmoor organized themselves almost reflexively by race. Separation of the black men in their own yard and barracks nurtured distinctly black styles, though racial boundaries did not conform exactly to boundaries of stone and mortar. Men often passed freely from one yard to another. Yet most whites did not gravitate to black “amusement” or recognize black accomplishments without considerable denigration. Confronted by a vibrant black culture that contradicted what they had been taught about racial inferiority, most white sailors denied blacks’ distinctive accomplishments. Blacks, meanwhile, capitalized on white sailors’ uneasy fear of black political organization and their ambivalent attraction to black music, evangelism, and pugilistic skill. They collectively leveraged prison Number Four to prominence.
—  W. Jeffrey Bolster, Black Jacks: African American Seamen in the Age of Sail, Ch. 4: The Boundaries of Race in Maritime Culture, pg 102-103 (Harvard University Press, 1997). 
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On this day in music (and television) history - June 20, 1948 - “The Ed Sullivan Show” makes its debut on the CBS television network. Originally called “The Toast Of The Town” when it begins broadcasting, the show is hosted by New York Daily News entertainment columnist Ed Sullivan. The debut episode features Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis and Broadway musical composers Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, the latter of whom are previewing numbers from their newly written musical “South Pacific”. The hour long variety show hosts a very wide number of music and entertainment acts, including breaking new ground in featuring African American entertainers and rock & roll acts at a time when the other two major networks shied away from them. At its peak, the show would average between twelve and fourteen million viewers per week. For the landmark appearances by Elvis Presley and The Beatles, viewership nearly or more than quadruples. Over the years, the program wins numerous accolades including several Emmy Awards and the Peabody Award. “The Ed Sullivan Show” runs for a total of twenty four seasons and broadcast 1,068 episodes before it is final broadcast on June 6, 1971.

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Director: Andrew L. Stone
Cast: Bill Robinson, Lena Horne

Country: US
Year: 1943
Duration: 77m

A relationship blossoms between an aspiring dancer and a popular songstress in this fantastic musical showcasing some the greatest African-American entertainers of the era. With Lena Horne, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Cab Calloway, and many more.

Lena Horne : stormy weather

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how cute are they?

Dancing dolls African tribal full dance

if your not watching bring it on lifetime on wednesday nights, you should be :)