It Started Earlier Than You Thought

Women wore their hair in a natural style for a fashion show. It was a contest that gave a cash prize for the winner. These women were sporting natural beauty before it was in fashion

A group of young men started an organization called the African Jazz At Society (AJAS) in the late 1950s. Kwame Braithwaite wanted to capture the essence of jazz in Harlem in photography. He wanted his audience to feel it and hear it through his work.

in the 1960s The Grandassa Models was formed to champion African inspired clothing and black beauty according to Tanisha Ford who has written a wonderful history of the experience.

Pushing The Limits

She was nice named the Black Greta Garbo, and one look at her proved why. She dispelled the myth at African Americans were ugly, untalented and stupid.

Nina Mae McKinney had starred in an all African American cast show, Hallelujah. The amazing job she did in that show, gained her a contract from MGM. It turned out to be a hollow victory. They only offered her roles as maids and servants, and never any lead roles.

McKinney was not the only African American who refused to deal with the hand she was dealt in the entertainment industry. Josephine Baker received a scathing review from a mainstream newspaper critic who called her homely and untalented. But in France, she became an icon by singing, dancing and pushing her talent to new limits

Our beauty has pushed through a lot of pain, but it has pushed through.

Pandemic: Deliveries

So I am trying a few new things that I never would have had their never been a pandemic. I am testing the delivery services of places like Amazon, WalMart and Target. We are in a pandemic so I don’t have high expectations, but I want to see who does the best job.

First, I ordered groceries for delivery. Now, I realize that many people are doing this so I can expect some wait time. It was a five day wait for delivery, but I got to chose the time it would arrive.

I made sure I was up early, dressed and ready to meet them at the door. I got a text saying the driver would be there soon with my groceries. I received a text when the driver pulled up. They called when they were at the door. It was cool. They were polite and arrived on the top side of the hour verses the back.

I was nervous about ordering fruit, but I received some of the sweetest grapes I have ever tasted. Three of the things I wanted were not available, one was substituted. No big deal. I will do it again.

I have also ordered a variety of items from WalMart, Target and Amazon. ‘

By far Target is the best. First, there are not a lot of additional expenses when you purchase something. Right now, the shipping is free and the only other charge is tax. When I first pushed the order button, the delivery date was May something. I am in no hurry. I am not going anywhere. A day later the delivery date changed to two days from when I ordered it. I know, right. Something I thought would take several weeks took two days. Target uses the same delivery processes as others, FedEx, UPS, etc. But I guess Target customers get preference.

WalMart has made me a repeat customer because again, their delivery is on point. When I clicked order, I received messages that it would be mid May before I received my stuff. Then the next day, I got messages that delivery date had changed. All of my mid May delivery dates turned into the next week. Ding! Ding! Ding! They have access to more products than target and the prices are good. Again, there were not a lot of extra charges after I ordered. With free shipping, my products came within a week. There is only one thing I am waiting on, and I can cancel it up until it ships. This is cheaper than Amazon and more efficient.

Amazon has made me give up prime membership because it was a waste of money. All my Amazon purchases had May delivery dates and there was extra charges which made it seem high prices for such a long wait. I have decided that this is a place where I can get stuff I might not be able to find at the other two. For instance I am still waiting on a thermometer which has a delivery date of May 1 to 10 which I ordered in March. I would use Amazon as a last resort unless you like waiting on stuff.

This downtime has made me rethink how I spend and where I spend my money. I will spend much less on Amazon this year, and give other retailers a try.


Africans from the regions of Gambia and Senegal were captured by slavers in 17th Century and sold into French America. They were smart individuals who understood agriculture and could adapt their skill sets in slavery. Even though they purchased their freedom from slavery, found themselves as part of a permanent slave class which even restricted how they looked.

They had to keep their hair covered according to the law.

 She was probably one of the most popular images of African American women in the late 19th Century which eluded to something other than beauty. She was popular and became an icon that would last for centuries. She would become a symbol of beauty in a different way.

Nancy Green was born a slave in 1834 in Kentucky. After slavery she got a job in Chicago taking care of children and cooking for privilege families.  Later she got a job with the Davis Mill Company being the spokesperson for Aunt Jemima Pancakes.  They put her face on the package.

In the month of April we will examine African American beauty