vbgbook

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: Art.com

from @vintageblackglamour
Langston Hughes flanked by Zora Neale Hurston (right) and Jessie Redmon Fauset in at the grave of Booker T. Washington at Tuskegee Institute in 1927. Mr. Hughes and Ms. Hurston ran into Ms. Fauset, who was invited to speak at a Wednesday speakers series at Tuskegee and together, they made the trip to Mr. Washington’s grave site. It was also during this trip that Mr. Hughes and Ms. Hurston discussed the possibility of doing a certain folk opera together. Photo: Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library. #vintageblackglamour #vbgbook #LangstonHughes #ZoraNealeHurston #JessieRedmonFauset #1920s #BlackHistoryMonth #womenofcolour #womenshistorymonth

#Repost from @vintageblackglamour with @repostapp —- Diana Ross on Tracy Chambers, 1975: “It’s a lot of fun, and while I don’t consider the picture really has a moral, I must admit it does have a kind of fairytale ending. But if you think of a real-life Tracy Chambers, she could well be pushing a pram full of babies two years from now. She’s going to be unhappy and probably hate the guy. The story is fantasy, but also authentic since any young girl who has grown up in a black neighborhood and has some ambitions wants to get out of the place. She doesn’t want to be the woman behind the man, licking envelopes and sticking stamps for the rest of her life. Tracy is vain, tough, sweet, calculating, understanding - more varied, and changing all the time.” This snippet (her full quote is in the book along with this photo from Getty Images) is from a 1975 Los Angeles Times article. I found Ms. Ross’s comments especially interesting considering how Tracy and Brian’s story has been romanticized (How many times have you heard Billy Dee’s Brian Chambers famous line, “Success is NOTHING! Without someone you love to share it with” rained down like an indictment on a woman’s dreams and ambitions?) and I wanted to include them in the book because I think it will provide interesting context the next time “Mahogany” pops up on television. #vintageblackglamour #vbgbook #DianaRoss

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.

from @vintageblackglamour
Saidie Sellyna, an actress and singer who worked in Russia in the early part of the twentieth century in a publicity photo, circa 1911 by an unidentified photographer. I am more than a little excited that I was able to include this photo in my book. Does she remind you of anyone in particular? Photo: The Sullivan Family papers, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution, gift of Savina Martin, Dominga Martin and Donna Akiba Sullivan Harper. #vintageblackglamour #vbgbook #SaidieSellyna #1910s #vintage 

#Repost @vintageblackglamour with @repostapp.
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Happy 73rd Birthday to Muhammad Ali! The Greatest and, quite possibly, The Handsomest of All Time, was born Cassius Clay in Louisville, Kentucky. I’m still trying to find the credit for this photo so, if anyone has any leads, let me know. I’d love to include it in the men’s edition of Vintage Black Glamour. #vintageblackglamour #vbgbook #MuhammadAli

Happy 86th Birthday to Dr. Maya Angelou! Dr. Angelou avoided celebrating her birthday for years after her friend, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated on her 40th birthday in 1968. Instead, she and her friend Coretta Scott King would “meet or talk or send each other flowers.” She is shown here doing a little reading in her room before performing at New York’s Village Vanguard in the late 1950s. Photo: G. Marshall Wilson, Art.com.

from @vintageblackglamour
This iconic image of the one and only Eartha Kitt appears in my book. It was taken by Moneta Sleet, Jr., the Pulitzer Prize-winning Ebony photographer, in 1956 at the opening of Roxanne’s Dressmakng Shop in New York City, co-owned by Ms. Kitt. This is just one of the many treasures in Ebony’s archives that is about to be put up for sale, as the company is struggling. Five million images are at stake. My fervent wish is for the collection to end up in the right hands - as in an entity that will place the correct value (treasure!) on the collection, treat it accordingly and make it available to the public. #vintageblackglamour #vbgbook #EarthaKitt #Ebony #vintage #history #1950s #BlackHistory 

Jamaican Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) volunteers dressed in their ‘English’ coats leave The Colonial Centre in Russell Square, London 17th February 1943. Source: Imperial War Museum (PLP 3836D). h/t @lascasartoris #vintageblackglamour #vbgbook #vintage #history #BlackBritain #BlackHistory #1940s by vintageblackglamour http://ift.tt/1HtQSLm

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.

A gem from the VBG archives. It’s a shot of Ms. Franklin rehearsing with the legendary dancer and choreographer Charles “Cholly” Atkins at a dance studio in 1961. Mr. Atkins (1913-2003) created the iconic dance moves of The Temptations, Gladys Knight and the Pips and The Supremes’s famous “Stop! In the Name of Love” hand movement (!!!) The Alabama-born Mr. Atkins began his career as a vaudeville performer and was one half of the legendary dance duo Coles and Atkins with Honi Coles. In 1988, he shared a Tony Awards for choreographing the Broadway show, “Black and Blue.” Photo: Frank Driggs Collection/Getty Images. #vintageblackglamour #vbgbook #ArethaFranklin #ChollyAtkins #Motown #1960s #dance #choreographers by vintageblackglamour http://ift.tt/1EQJDcZ

Billie Holiday and Hazel Scott enjoy each other’s company at party in 1957. In “Lady Didn’t Always Sing the Blues,” a 1973 article in Ebony magazine, her friend Ms. Scott said, “The thing I hope the kids don’t miss – the ones who are just discovered Lady – is that she took a lot of the tragedy of her life and made something beautiful out of it; something very beautiful.” The photo was taken by the legendary photographer Roy DeCarava (1919-2009).