moms mabley


Buzzfeed: “17 Black Women Who Deserve their own Biopics”

Not enough roles for black women in Hollywood? Let’s make some!

1. Thandie Newton/Alice Walker, 2. Amber Riley/Aretha Franklin, 3. Kerry Washington/Vonetta McGee, 4. Lupita Nyong'o/Grace Jones, 5. Mo'Nique/Hattie McDaniel, 6. Oprah Winfrey/Mary McLeod Bethune, 7. Regina Hall/Moms Mabley, 8. Teyonah Parris/Assata Shakur, 9. Viola Davis/Shirley Chisholm, 10. Jurnee Smollett/Eartha Kitt

Joan Rivers wasn’t the only female comedian to pave the way for female comedians.

There were others like Phyllis Diller

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Moms Mabley

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Jean Carroll

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and Betty White

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You know something else? None of these women made racist or rude remarks just for the sake of comedy. Because comedy is so much more than laughing at someone else’s appearance, ethnicity, or sexuality. 

hi, so, uh

I assume a lot of people are hailing joan rivers as a feminist icon mainly because she opened comedy up to women through her standup

but, uh, unsurprisingly she was not the first to do that

that’s moms mabley.  she was a comedian in the 20th century and was pretty much one of the few popular female comedians during that time.  she did a lot of things people were uncomfortable doing at that time, like incorporating talks about racism into her standup and such.  she was really popular

(psst she was even doing comedy before joan rivers was born)

she also inspired quite a few comedians you probably know about today like bill cosby and whoopi goldberg (whoopi even did a whole documentary on her because she was so enamored with her)

she was also a lesbian and did standup in androgynous clothing a lot of the time.  and she was african american.  makes you wonder why you’ve probably never heard of her before huh

so before you go give all the credit to joan rivers for getting women into comedy or being a feminist icon or whatever, remember moms mabley and her contributions too


This Inspiring Photo Series Dresses Little Girls as Feminist Icons.

BJulianne Ross

Who needs Disney princesses when you’ve got real-life heroines to admire? That’s the thinking behind Because of Them We Can, the inspiring new photo project by Eunique Jones. The series features photos of little girls dressed as influential women alongside famous quotes. It is objectively the most adorable list of feminist icons ever created.

Jones, a mother of two, launched her Because of Them We Can project last year in honor of Black History Month. The original photo series portrayed kids as important figures in African-American history, and quickly expanded into a 365-day mission to educate and connect “a new generation to heroes who have paved the way.”

Jones writes on her website, “The same way that Because of Them We Can has helped expand the conversation in the African American community is the same way we want to expand the conversation in others. … This is an ongoing effort, however, we wanted to highlight a few women who have helped break barriers and glass ceilings for us all.”

The importance of taking time to teach our children about important female figures can’t be overstated. Too often women’s historical contributions are relegated to the footnotes of history books — if they’re included at all. Jones’ photos are a fantastic means to introduce the next generation to important figures they otherwise may not learn about. In presenting young girls with real-world role models, the photos encourage them to “dream out loud and reimagine themselves as greater than they are, simply by connecting the dots between the past, the present and the future.”

Written by Julianne Ross for PolicyMic, April 1, 2014
Herstory is Queer: 24 women to be celebrated during women's history month
This month of March has been influential in placing women’s contributions in history to the forefront of our minds.
By Kiara Collins

“This month of March has been influential in placing women’s contributions in history to the forefront of our minds. As #GirlPower continues to reign supreme during Women’s History Month it was only fitting that we pay homage to some women who have been influential in making LGBTQ identities more visible, and ought to be honored and celebrated.”

See the list here

Happy Birthday Jackie “Moms” Mabley! (Mar. 19, 1894 – May 23, 1975)

Portrait of comedian Moms Mabley. Printed on front: “‘Moms’ Mabley. Recording exclusively on Mercury Records.” Handwritten on back: “'Moms’ Mabley.”

  • Courtesy of the E. Azalia Hackley Collection of African Americans in the Performing Arts, Detroit Public Library

Moms Mabley (1894-1975) was an African-American actor and standup comedian, one of the few and most visible women in the business at the time. Billed as “The Funniest Woman in the World”, she tackled many sensitive subjects, including sexuality and racism.

She started her career in comedy when she joined a travelling vaudeville show at age 14. She became known as ‘Moms’ because she acted as a mother figure towards many comedians during the 1950s and 60s. When she was 27, she came out as a lesbian, becoming one of the first openly gay comedians.

Moms Mabley (1894-1975), Comedian

Moms Mabley, billed as ‘The Funniest Woman in the World” was a game-changer for comedy, enjoying a long career that started on the “Chitlin’ circut” and eventually lead her to making a record amounts of money and appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show and The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. She was out as a lesbian from the age of 27 and recorded over 20 comedy albums, including early “lesbian stand-up” routines. Although she initially performed in androgynous clothing, she changed her stage persona as she got older and more famous, but maintained her more subversive style (and her girlfriends) offstage.