James Garner stood tall along side singers Joan Baez, group Peter, Paul & Mary, Odetta Holmes, Mahalia Jackosn and Bob Dylan, joining A-List actors Marlon Brando, Burt Lancaster, Charlton Heston, Paul Newman & wife Joanne Woodward, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Diahann Carroll, Harry Belafonte, Lena Horne, Sidney Poitier, Maya Angelou, Josephine Baker, Sammy Davis, Jr., opera singer Marian Anderson, baseball legend Jackie Robinson and writer James Baldwin at the Civil Rights Movement’s “March on Washington.”
Can you believe that Sesame Street turned 40 in 2009? I was lucky enough to see this revolutionary children’s educational series at the very beginning, when in my opinion it was the best show on TV. Ask any body else who was a kid under 5 at that time and they will tell you the same thing.
One thing that I loved about watching Sesame Street was that you would often see your favorite Black actors, musicians and athletes hanging out with the muppets. Everyone from Lena Horne to Ray Charles to Richard Pryor to Arthur Ashe made appearances on Sesame Street. I didn’t know at that time that I was being treated to performances by some of the biggest icons of entertainment and sports. I just knew that it was funky and really appreciated seeing cool Black people interacting with my favorite puppets.
The Museum of UnCut Funk continues to celebrate the best decade ever with a review of Poster Art from funky music based films that helped to create the soundtrack of the 1970’s.
As a fan of the theater, I began collecting window cards from the broadway shows that I was fortunate enough to see. My love for the art on them grew from there and I started collecting all of the window cards from Black plays and musicals and plays the featured Black actors that I could find.
Emmy, Tony and Oscar winning production, set and costume designer Tony Walton (All That Jazz, Mary Poppins and Broadway’s Pippin just to name a few) shared his Oscar nominated set and costume work for the 1978 film The Wiz.
Say what you want about mink. I don’t own a fur but that’s not to say I never wanted one. I remember the BLACKGLAMA ads like it was yesterday and with Janet Jackson catchin some heat for her participation I had to get the pics of the sexy sistas from the late 1960’s and 1970’s who graced the ads.
Lena Horne, whose striking beauty and magnetic sex appeal often overshadowed her talent and artistry, was remarkably candid about the underlying reason for her success: “I was unique in that I was a kind of Black that white people could accept,” she once said.
With the number of new Black Broadway shows that have opened in the past few years, like The Color Purple, there has been much written about the increase in Black attendance on Broadway. However, Blacks have been acting, writing, scoring and attending Broadway shows since the late 1800’s, so it’s not a new phenomenon. Here is a chronological history of the Great White Way in Black from 1896 – Present.