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.

Continue reading “AA Legacy Series Spotlight on Della Reese”

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!