AA Legacy Series Spotlight on Della Reese

Continuing the AA Legacy Series for (Black) Women’s History Month, I want to highlight the actress and singer we know as Della Reese (clink the link for a video tribute). I was conducting research online and found the Della Reese dot com address but it’s not something she’s running. It’s more than a little creepy that someone other than Della Reese seems to own that domain name (they have it listed as a shell website) but at least they posted two videos of her.

I’m loathe to tout the 1st black to do x,y, z but in the case of these women trailblazers, the distinction is notable. I’m not going to do an entire career retrospective either. There’s a nice YouTube Channel that has her extensive archives. See the Della Reese Channel for video performances and clips that span her career. She has an autobiography, Angels Along The Way worth the read. In fact, I recommend everyone read all of the various career retrospectives, biographies and autobiographies of every black woman over the age of 45. There is much to learn.

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It’s Black Women’s History Month Y’all!

At least it is at Acts Of Faith In Love & Life.

I’m editing a few posts right now but then I remembered I had started the first post of what was meant to be a series on AA women with Ethel Waters way back from 2009. Since I was doing daily posts then (how did I find the time?) I forgot to continue the series!

I so appreciate the contributions of my elders and forebears. I am very proud of my heritage and have never wanted to be part of anyone else’s ethnic or racial group. We need to better honor these women by living well. I hope more people will read it and enjoy it this time.

Spotlight on Ethel Waters.

Please note, the woman singing with the Duke Ellington orchestra is not Waters but Ivie Anderson. By the way, I did complete Final Cut Pro…then my Mac died.

I’ve decided to set aside some of the other topics on tap and instead will be featuring a few AA women who’ve kicked butt and taken names in honor of (Black) Women’s History Month.

Via the NYT’s Book Review of Heat Wave: The Life & Career Of Ethel Waters (thanks Nichelle!)

Waters’s influence on her fellow singers and actors — especially, but not exclusively, African-American women — was such that Horne described her as “the mother of us all.” (Artists of a later generation would come to describe Horne in the same terms.) Starting out in black vaudeville in the early decades of the 20th century, Waters originally performed and recorded the sort of bawdy come-ons (“It’s Right Here for You” and “I Want to Be Somebody’s Baby Doll So I Can Get My Loving All the Time”) that, in the hands of Waters, Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith and other women, first established the blues as popular music. Waters’s style was advanced: understated, sophisticated, dramatic without being histrionic, ideally suited to the soon-to-emerge repertory of elegiac, subtly blues-influenced pop music that would come to be thought of as the Great American Songbook. It was Waters who made hits of the future standards “Am I Blue,” “Supper Time” and “Stormy Weather” (years before it became associated with Horne).

If there’s someone you’d like to see featured leave a message in the comment section. We can discuss a possible guest post as well for coverage of more women.  I’m more focused on the less obvious choices of women so we can all learn something.  Doing research is so much fun! I hope you enjoy the series. Have a great weekend everyone!

“Beat Her Down” Brown Part 2: Support Those That Support You Or Else!

Picking up from where we left off with Beat Her Down Brown Part One, Halima’s Whose Zooming Who post went through a rather extensive list of black males who were wholly self-serving in focusing on their interests. I’d like to add further dimensions to the conversation.

Unlike the talk a lot but do nothing scenarios played out by blacks, read what happened when the House of Dior decided to police the behavior of their key designer, John Galliano for stepping way out of line. Some people do not play! The key lesson to be learned is how there has been a historical pattern of behavior for hundreds of years now that have left self-sacrificing black women with the perpetual short end of the stick. It’s the gender needs set-aside vs. sacrifice for racial progress argument. In fact, I’d say it has further escalated (devalued) to there being no stick left at all for those that give and give without requiring an equal exchange for their support.

As I stated in BHDB Pt 1:

I just realized that Chris Brown has a point about it not being “fair” that he was held somewhat accountable and suffered (minimal) repercussions for his deviant behavior. There’s a plethora of black male entertainers who have engaged in the very same behavior but due to black male protectionism and racio-misogyny against black women they were never put under the same level of scrutiny all in the name of “advancing the race”.

Before Chris “The Whiner” there was James “I’m Black & Proud…er how soon until I can get a white woman?” Brown.

watch?v=2VRSAVDlpDI

So around the time someone was black and proud another someone was black and blue!

TV One’s Unsung Series on Tammi Terrell that highlights her “volatile” relationship with Brown with eye witness testimony about him beating her in the head repeatedly.

Yes, the very same Brown that was credited for his Civil Rights work. I hate to burst your bubble, but if I’m going to be disappointed to find out what is so glaringly obvious once you realize we’ve been had — repeatedly — then so will you (villain cackle ensues).

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