African American stories were not told during her time. At least not the truth. She became known for using her work to address social injustice towards African Americans during her lifetime. Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller was a poet, painter and sculptor at the turn of the 20th Century. Born in Philadelphia in 1877, her parents were able to send her to a good school which helped develop her artistic ability. Her parents were part of the African American middle class with successful businesses.
Fuller’s work was shown in high school projects at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. She received a scholarship to a university and after graduation, she moved to Paris, France to study with Raphael Collin. Henry Ossawa Tanner, the first African American painter to gain international fame, was also a family friend.
In 1907 Fuller won a gold medal for her work in an exhibition at the 1907 Jamestown Tercentennial. She created 150 dioramas depicting the progress African Americans had made from when slaves landed in Jamestown to the beginning of 1900.
I am so in for this week’s show. Leverage Redemption! It is the continuation of the old Leverage series that ran from 2008 to 2012 starring Timothy Hutton. It had this whole Robin Hood theme where they robbed the rich to give to the folks they took advantage of. It is a fun show to watch because they always have to work their way out of a situation.
In the reboot, three of the old characters take on new partners to do the same thing. Where I have really become happy with series that are just 8 episodes, I was excited to see they added a few more in this new series. Gina Bellman is still the grifter, Christian Cane the hacker and Beth Riesgraf as the thief. They added Noah Wylie and Aleyse Shannon to the team.
They also have added great guest stars, like Levar Burton. This show is on the IMDB channel. Fall in love with show, like I have.
Participating in something you have no control over requires much control.
Bert Williams (1874-1922) was born in the Bahamas. In 1918 the New York Times wrote he was one of the greatest comedians in the world. Williams was also at one time was one of the highest paid performers in vaudeville and on Broadway. He and his team were one of the first African Americans to perform on Broadway, in a show titled Dahomey, a musical in 1903.
Because of his race, he was usually the solo African American performer in a vaudeville show, which meant he travelled, ate and slept separately from the Caucasian performers. He would be alone and separated from everyone else. A white supremist groups threatened theater owners to only have one black performer per show. When he signed with Ziegfeld’s Follies, Caucasian performers demanded he be fired, but management refused. He became so popular that others wanted to work with him.
Hattie McDaniel (1893-1952) was an African American actress and holds the distinction of being the first woman of color to win an Oscar. She won for the role of Mammy in Gone with the Wind. She appeared in over 300 films and was also a singer.
Even though she made enough money to live well, she found that it did not stop discrimination. She almost didn’t get to attend the Oscar ceremony where she won because it was segregated and didn’t allow African Americans in. She also had to file lawsuits to stay in her neighborhood because deeds restricted African Americans from purchasing there and was denied the right to be buried in the cemetery of her choice because race restrictions. She didn’t allow other people’s rules to allow it to limit her.
It took incredible self-control to continue to work and perform routinely. It took discipline to continue to give great performances every time. It took heart not to give up and go do something that was more just.
I never knew how hard Ella Fitzgerald worked to be as good as she was. Ella Just One of Those Things is a new documentary on Netflix that tells story of the singer with people who were her contemporaries. It will introduce you to pieces in her catalog with a story or two behind them.
Fitzgerald’s resilience stood out to me. It was inspiring to see someone with a vision from their teenage years make it happen despite the struggles life through her way. It is stories like this that would encourage other women to not give up. Although her life was not perfect, her music was.
She and her generation open doors for today’s performers by working in places where they could not even eat or sleep. Stories like this remind us of the price that was paid to get to modern day. Something we all needed to be reminded of.
Dancing During The Storm is a collection of short stories that represent people dealing with the storms of life. There are times when we have to decide are we going to lay down or fight. All of these stories tell of people who are either coming out of, in the middle of or going into a storm. In this second volume, the stories deal with justice, women’s issues and deception.