history of voguing

The African-American Suffragists History Forgot 

by Lynn Yaeger 

[T]hough we may have vague notions of the American women who fought so heroically for the ballot on this side of the Atlantic, they are, in our minds, in our imaginations, in the photographs and first-person narratives that have come down to us, uniformly white people.

[Read Lynn Yaeger’s Vogue.com article in its entirety here.]

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Harlem in the 1920s & 30s, as the circuit parties of their day, the drag balls provided a startling glimpse of the national scope of gay life. Men traveled from across the country to attend the Hamilton Lodge Ball and other cities’ signature balls, and partisans trumpeted the virtues of the New York ball over its rivals in Chicago, New Orleans, and Berlin. Those who couldn’t attend the balls were treated to detailed accounts of them in the black press and Broadway gossip sheets. 

Vogue (Mexico) magazine cover (2012)

“I wish I could do whatever I liked behind the curtain of “madness”. Then: I’d arrange flowers, all day long, I’d paint; pain, love and tenderness, I would laugh as much as I feel like at the stupidity of others, and they would all say: “Poor thing, she’s crazy!” (Above all I would laugh at my own stupidity.) I would build my world which while I lived, would be in agreement with all the worlds. The day, or the hour, or the minute that I lived would be mine and everyone else’s - my madness would not be an escape from “reality”.” -Frida Kahlo

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The Dresses of Designer Charles James -Vintage Bowles - Vogue