Celebrating African American WOMEN

Celebrating African American WOMEN

A celebration of our beautiful, talented, inspirational, influential, legendary black women who paved the way & changed the world.

Well known or lesser known.... Love and respect for all of our beautiful history making pioneers & trailblazers.

Operating as usual

03/01/2024

Happy 28th Birthday To !

Gabrielle Christina Victoria Douglas is an American artistic gymnast. She is the 2012 Olympic all-around champion and the 2015 World all-around silver medalist. She was a member of the gold-winning teams at both the 2012 and the 2016 Summer Olympics, dubbed the "Fierce Five" and the "Final Five" by the media, respectively. She was also a member of the gold-winning American teams at the 2011 and the 2015 World Championships.

Douglas is the first African American to become the Olympic individual all-around champion, and the first U.S. gymnast to win gold in both the individual all-around and team competitions at the same Olympics. She was also the 2016 AT&T American Cup all-around champion.

As a public figure, Douglas' gymnastics successes have led to her life story adaptation in the 2014 Lifetime biopic film, The Gabby Douglas Story, as well as the acquisition of her own reality television series, Douglas Family Gold. Douglas has also written a book about her life and what it takes to be an Olympic gold medalist by determination and perseverance.

As of July 2023, Douglas is training at WOGA with the goal of making the Paris 2024 Olympic team.

28/12/2023

A pioneer in the world of African American music education, Harriet Gibbs Marshall was born in Victoria, British Columbia on February 18, 1868 to Mifflin Wistar Gibbs and Maria Ann (Alexander) Gibbs. In 1869 her family moved to Oberlin, Ohio. Marshall began her study of music at the age of nine and continued the pursuit at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music where she studied piano, pipe organ, and voice culture. Graduating in 1889, she was the first African American to complete the program and earn a Mus.B. degree, which at the time was Oberlin’s equivalent of a Bachelor of Music degree.

Marshall trained in Europe after graduating and in 1890 returned to the United States to found a music conservatory at the Eckstein-Norton University, an industrial school in Cane Springs, Kentucky. At the beginning of the 20th century, Marshall held the position of supervisor for the District of Columbia’s African American public schools, Divisions X-XIII, and served as the divisions’ director of music.

To provide African American students with advanced musical training within the conservatory structure, she founded the Washington Conservatory of Music in 1903. It was later renamed the Washington Conservatory of Music and School of Expression when the school expanded to include drama and speech. In establishing a school exclusively operated by African American musicians for the advancement of African American education, Marshall realized a lifelong goal.

Harriet Gibbs married Napoleon Bonaparte Marshall, a Massachusetts lawyer, in 1906. Together they promoted her conservatory, but his career would eventually draw her away from her work in music education for years at a time. In 1922 she accompanied her husband to Haiti, where he was sent by President Warren G. Harding to be a part of the U.S. legation. They lived there for six years, during which time she founded the Jean Joseph Industrial School in Port-au-Prince and worked extensively with Haitian social welfare charities.

After Napoleon Marshall died in 1933, Harriet Marshall refocused her attention on the Washington Conservatory of Music and School of Expression. In 1937, as an expansion to the conservatory, she founded the National Negro Music Center as a resource to both promote creative work and to preserve traditional African American music. Marshall’s conservatory was a landmark in the history of black education. The Center sponsored regular concerts for the black community, trained many prominent musical professionals and attracted the nation’s most talented musicians as teachers. It remained in operation until 1960.

Harriett Gibbs Marshall died on February 25, 1941 in Burrell’s Private Hospital in Washington, D.C. She was seventy-three years old.

28/12/2023

Black excellence at a young age!

Meet Diamond Shakoor, who in 2009 at age 8, became the youngest African-American female to go undefeated in a Chess National competition. She has since played in more than 250 tournaments and is a seven-time national champion.⁠

Shakoor, who is from Columbus, Ohio, and learned the game at the Urban Kings & Queens Chess Academy, says that her goal is to become the first and youngest African American female chess grandmaster. She comments, "I love to play chess, it’s like life basically. It’s like a battle. Half of it is natural talent, but I’m starting to study now.”⁠

Her dad, Abdul Shakoor, who has two master's degrees and teaches courses on chess, has been Diamond’s teacher since she was about 7-years old. He admits that Diamond can now consistently beat him. He comments, “When she’s focused, it’s incredibly tough to beat her.”⁠

27/12/2023

Eartha Kitt - Santa Baby!
Her story is incredible! Conceived by r**e, born on a cotton plantation, she spoke 5 languages, sang in 7, recorded the hit song 'Santa Baby' in July 1953. She passed on Christmas Day in 2008. Her iconic purr and legacy lives on!
⬇️ More photos and fun facts in comments ⬇️

Photos from R-Evolution's post 24/12/2023
24/12/2023

JUANITA MOORE (1914-2014)
Veteran actress Juanita Moore is fondly remembered for her tear-jerking role of Annie Johnson in Douglas Sirk’s 1959 remake of Imitation of Life. Moore was a groundbreaking actress best known for her role as Lana Turner’s character’s black friend in the film. In 1960 she became only the fifth African American nominated for an Oscar. The nomination was based on her role in Imitation of Life.
Born in Greenwood, Mississippi in 1914, Moore graduated with a degree in drama from Los Angeles City College and moved to New York where she began her show business career as a nightclub singer and dancer and eventually worked as a chorus girl in New York’s famed Cotton Club.
Moore eventually traveled abroad, performing in top European clubs, including the London Palladium and the Moulin Rouge in Paris, France before embarking on her film career in late 1949, making her debut as an un-credited nurse in the race-conscious film Pinky. In the early 1950s she worked in Los Angeles’s Ebony Showcase, a leading black-run theater. Later in the decade she was a member of the celebrated Cambridge Players which included other up-and-coming black performers such as Esther Rolle.
Though Moore worked steadily as a character actress after making her debut in Pinky, her big break occurred a decade later in 1959 when she garnered accolades for her stunning interpretation of the troubled mother and maid/companion Annie in Imitation of Life opposite Lana Turner and Susan Kohner. Moore portrayed the self-sacrificing mother of Sara Jane, a confused biracial daughter who attempts to pass as white. When Sara Jane disappeared and assumed a new identity to evade the reality of her black heritage, Annie hired a private investigator to locate her daughter. Annie then unexpectedly pays Sara Jane one last visit before “dying of a broken heart.”
Moore’s performance earned her an Oscar nomination for best supporting actress in 1959. Though Moore has appeared as a supporting actress in more than 70 film and television shows during her six-decade career, Imitation of Life (originally made in 1934 with Louise Beavers and Fredi Washington) remains her most memorable and celebrated contribution to Hollywood film.
During the 1960s, Moore also appeared in several stage productions, including Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun (1959-60) in London, U.K. and James Baldwin’s The Amen Corner (1965). In 1974, she was inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame. More recently, she has appeared in two minor film roles, The Kid (2000) and 8 Mile (2002). In 2005, Moore was honored at the Academy Theater at Lighthouse International in New York City at Douglas Sirk’s Imitation of Life Screening and Q & A session.
Juanita Moore, the widow of Charles Burris, died on January 1, 2014 in her home in Los Angeles, California.

24/12/2023

Tori Bowie is an American track and field athlete who has achieved success as a sprinter. Born on August 27, 1990, in Sandhill, Mississippi, she initially excelled in basketball before transitioning to track and field.

Bowie's breakthrough came in the 2016 Rio Olympics, where she won a bronze medal in the 200 meters. Known for her exceptional speed and determination, she continued to shine in international competitions. In the 2017 World Championships, she clinched gold in the 100 meters, showcasing her prowess as a sprinter.

Throughout her career, Bowie has faced various challenges, including injuries, but her determination and work ethic have helped her overcome them. Her dedication to the sport and her commitment to improving her performance have made her a respected figure in track and field.

Tori Bowie's journey from basketball to becoming a world-class sprinter exemplifies her resilience and passion for athletics. Her accomplishments have solidified her status as one of the prominent figures in the world of sprinting.

21/12/2023

Meet the remarkable Edith Renfrow Smith, an inspiration at 107 years young! Her journey from slavery to becoming the first Black graduate of Grinnell College is a testament to resilience and hard work. 🌟📚

06/12/2023

!💙💛

06/12/2023

Juanita Moore (October 19, 1914 – January 1, 2014) was an American film, television, and stage actress. She was the fifth black actor to be nominated for an Academy Award in any category, and the third in the Supporting Actress category at a time when only one black actor, Hattie McDaniel in Gone with the Wind (1939), had won an Oscar. Her most famous role was ascthe mother, Annie Johnson, in the film Imitation of Life (1959).
Moore was born in Greenwood, Mississippi. Her family moved in the Great Migration to Los Angeles, where she was raised. Moore first performed as a dancer, part of a chorus line at the Cotton Club before becoming a film extra while working in theater.
Moore was the vice president of the Original Cambridge Players, who took a Los Angeles production of The Amen Corner to Broadway at the Ethel Barrymore Theater in April 1965. She was friends with Marlon Brando and James Baldwin. It was Moore who asked Brando to lend the funds ($75) to Baldwin to write the play.
After making her film debut in Double Deal (1939), Moore had a number of bit parts and supporting roles in motion pictures through the late 1930s and 1950s.
Moore's performance in the remake of Imitation of Life (1959) as black housekeeper Annie Johnson, whose daughter Sarah Jane (Susan Kohner) passes for white, won her a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She was also nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture for the role. When the two versions of Imitation of Life were released together on DVD (the earlier film was released in 1934), one of the bonus features was a new interview with Moore.
Moore continued to act for film and TV, with a role in Disney's The Kid (2000), and guest-starring roles on Dragnet, Adam-12, Marcus Welby, M.D., ER and Judging Amy.
On April 23, 2010, a new print of Imitation of Life (1959) was screened at the Turner Classic Movies Film Festival in Los Angeles. Both Moore and co-star Kohner attended. After the screening, the two women appeared on stage for a question-and-answer session hosted by TCM's Robert Osborne. Moore and Kohner received standing ovations.
Moore was married for 50 years to Charles Burris, who died in 2001. He was a Los Angeles bus driver and they met when she stepped out in front of his approaching bus. She and Burris married a few weeks later.
Her grandson is actor/producer Kirk E. Kelleykahn, who is CEO/President of "Cambridge Players – Next Generation", a theatre troupe whose founding members included Moore.
Moore died at her home in Los Angeles on January 1, 2014, at age 99 of natural causes. She is buried at Inglewood Park Cemetery.
Moore's nephew, Arnett Moore, is determined to get his late aunt a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He says her spotlight is long overdue.

06/12/2023

Lulu Merle Johnson, with friends in Iowa City, Iowa between 1924 and 1928. Lulu Merle Johnson became the first Black woman in the state of Iowa to earn a Ph.D. in 1941. She earned all three of her degrees from Iowa. The Graduate College named a Fellowship in her honor. The first Lula Merle Johnson Fellows began at The University of Iowa in the Fall of 2018.

05/12/2023

Remembering Mary Vesta Williams on the day of her birth, singer–songwriter, who performed across genres such as pop, jazz, adult contemporary and R&B. Originally credited as Vesta Williams, she was simply known as Vesta beginning in the 1990s. She was known for her four–octave vocal range. She once sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" for the Los Angeles Lakers game opener using all four of those octaves. Although Williams never had any albums certified gold nor any Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, she scored six Top 10 hits on the United States Billboard R&B chart from the mid–1980s to the early–1990s which included "Once Bitten, Twice Shy", "Sweet Sweet Love", "Special", and her 1989 R&B hit and signature song, "Congratulations". R.I.P.

03/12/2023

Francine Everett was an actress who was best known for starring in race films.

03/12/2023

Grace Beverly Jones, OJ(born May 19, 1948) is a model, singer and actress. Born in Jamaica, she and her family moved to Syracuse, New York, when she was a teenager. Jones began her modeling career in New York state, then in Paris, working for fashion houses such as Yves St. Laurent and Kenzo, and appearing on the covers of Elle and Vogue. She notably worked with photographers such as Jean-Paul Goude, Helmut Newton, Guy Bourdin, and Hans Feurer, and became known for her distinctive androgynous appearance and bold features.

Her grandfather, John Williams, was also a musician and played with Nat King Cole. Her father, Bishop Robert Winston Jones, moved the family to CNY and founded the Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ in Syracuse. Jones' brother is megachurch preacher Bishop Noel Jones, who starred on the 2013 reality show Preachers of LA.

Through her relationship with longtime collaborator Jean-Paul Goude, Jones has one son, Paulo. From Paulo, Jones has one granddaughter.

Jones attended Central High School in Syracuse. She claims she doesn't know how old she is. Although some sources say she was born in 1948, Jones says she graduated early from Central High School in Syracuse in 1967; she was around 15 years old, ahead of most of her peers due to more rigorous education at an early age in Jamaica. She also studied theater at Onondaga Community College.

Beginning in 1977, Jones embarked on a music career, securing a record deal with Island Records and initially becoming a high-profile figure of New York City's Studio 54-centered disco scene. In the early 1980s, she moved toward a new wave style that drew on reggae, funk, post-punk, and pop music, frequently collaborating with both the graphic designer Jean-Paul Goude and the musical duo Sly & Robbie. She scored Top 40 entries on the UK Singles Chart with "Private Life", "Pull Up to the Bumper", "I've Seen That Face Before", and "Slave to the Rhythm". In 1982, she released the music video collection A One Man Show, directed by Goude, which earned her a nomination for Best Video Album at the 26th Annual Grammy Awards. Her most popular albums include Warm Leatherette (1980), Nightclubbing (1981), and Slave to the Rhythm (1985).

As an actress, Jones appeared in several indie films prior to landing her first mainstream appearance as Zula in the fantasy-action film Conan the Destroyer (1984) alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sarah Douglas, and subsequently appeared in the James Bond movie A View to a Kill (1985) as May Day, and starred as a vampire in Vamp (1986); all of which earned her nominations for the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress. In 1992, Jones acted in the Eddie Murphy film Boomerang, and contributed to the soundtrack. She also appeared alongside Tim Curry in the 2001 film Wolf Girl.

Jones has been cited as an inspiration for multiple artists, including Annie Lennox, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Solange, Lorde, Róisín Murphy, Brazilian Girls, Nile Rodgers, Santigold, and Basement Jaxx. In 2016, Billboard ranked her as the 40th greatest dance club artist of all time.

AWARDS & NOMINATIONS

▪1983 Billboard Music Awards
Herself Top Disco Artist - Female (Nominated)

▪1984 Grammy Awards
A One Man Show Best Video Album (Nominated)

▪1985 Bravo Otto Awards
Herself Best Female Actress (Silver) (Won)

▪1985 Saturn Awards
Conan the Destroyer Best Supporting Actress (Nominated)

▪1985 A View to a Kill (Nominated)

▪1986 MTV Video Music Awards
"Slave to the Rhythm" Best Female Video (Nominated)

▪1987 Saturn Awards Vamp
Best Supporting Actress (Nominated)

▪1988 Golden Raspberry Awards
Siesta Worst Supporting Actress (Nominated)

▪1999 Golden Raspberry Awards
"Storm" Worst Original Song (Nominated)

▪2008 Q Awards
Herself Q Icon (Won)

▪2009 Helpmann Awards
Hurricane Tour Best International Contemporary Music Concert (Nominated)

▪2014 Rober Awards
Music Poll Nightclubbing Best Reissue (Nominated)

▪2016 NME Awards
I'll Never Write My Memoirs Best Book (Nominated)

▪2017 The Voice of a Woman Awards
Herself Lifetime Achievement Award (Won)

▪2017 Bahamas International Film Festival
Herself Career Achievement Award (Won)

HONORS

▪In 2018 Jones become a member of the Order of Jamaica (OJ)

02/12/2023

Mary McLeod Bethune once wrote: “Believe in yourself, learn, and never stop wanting to build a better world.”

How do you help to make the world a better place?

(Smithsonian NMAH, Archives Center) Alt-text: Black and white image of Mary McLeod Bethune standing on the steps outside the front of a house.

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