josephine
Josephine Baker

Research for me, takes on many forms. Sometimes, I get caught up in an idea and run with it. At other times, I can be researching one thing only to discover something that I didn’t know about before, and off I go on a tangent.

This is what happened today. While investigating hat designs from the 1920’s, I came across a few pictures of Josephine Baker, a prominent, in her time, Black American dancer whose shows border on a little on the risqué!

It’s obvious, that after discovering her, I had to find others.

So I present to you a few well known black women from the 1920’s and beyond. Enjoy!

florence-mills-5-undtd-d27

Florence Mills

Was a dancer and singer, billed the “Queen of Happiness”. Most notable performance in Blackbirds. She claimed that she invented the Charleston dance!

joe baker

Josephine Baker

Not only a national, but international famed singer and performer whose career centred mainly in Europe. Awarded a medal in honour of her resistance in France during WW2, and was a staunch activist during the civil rights movement.

Mother Of The Blues

Gladys Bentley

An American blues singer, pianist and entertainer performing in Harlem. Appeared as a black lesbian cross-dresser at Harry Hansberry’s Clam House during the 1920’s.

Bessie Coleman

Bessie Coleman

Part Native American civil aviator famous for being the first woman of Afro-American descent to hold a pilots license, which she obtained in France because she wasn’t permitted to do so in America. She died in a plane crash in 1926, while testing a plane.

ana-may-wong-headband

Anna-May Wong

Considered to be the first Chinese American movie star with a career spanning silent movies, sound, television, radio and stage.

Edythe_Turnham_and_Band

Edythe Turnham 

Was a pianist from her early childhood, who later formed a band with her husband and sons.

flapers 1920

Flappers and Jazz Women

The Jazz dancers of the 1920’s, whose signature dance appeared to be the Charleston, were seen throughout the Jazz scene in Harlem and wherever Jazz was played. It was considered that without these women and their dance and enthusiasm, the 1920’s may not have ‘Roared‘ at all!!!

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