A Black Hatter Whose Work Became the Buzz of Hollywood Studios
When Crowns: Portraits of Black Women in Church Hats, by Michael Cunningham and Craig Marberry was published in 2000, it honored a tradition deeply rooted in African American culture. One that poet Maya Angelou simply called, in her foreword to that book, THE HAT. And for Mildred Blount, THE HAT was always about more than just headwear.
How a Childless Widow Who Didn’t Like Kids Became a Star of Children’s Radio
Once upon a time, a “large, plump, hard-boiled, shrewd” woman named Nila Mack was asked by Columbia Broadcasting System to reinvent a Saturday morning children’s radio show called “The Adventures of Helen and Mary.” Her first reaction? “Really? You want the childless widow to save your kids’ show? I don’t even like kids.”
Rising to Stage and Film Fame Despite Racism and Red Baiting
Gertrude Jeannette was a true trailblazer as the first woman to get a motorcycle license in Manhattan and The Big Apple’s first licensed female cabdriver. Perhaps her more important accomplishments were as an actor, director and playwright who mentored a generation of Black actors in New York. But none of that would have happened were it not for a persistent childhood stutter and a man named Joe Jeannette who loved to dance.
A Story of Corporate Greed, Misogyny, and Patent Office Incompetence
You know the rules. Landlords get rich at the expense of tenants. Travel means shelling out for a railroad ticket. You can have utilities, but they’ll cost you. Run afoul of the landlord and go directly to jail — forget about passing GO and collecting $200. It’s the board game Monopoly, invented by a feisty, progressive feminist whose invention was stolen in the 1930s by a man named Charles Darrow.
A 60-Year Career of Creating Songs for America’s Top Artists
If a picture is worth 1,000 words, the photo of a New York City luncheon (above) hosted by famed radio DJ and promoter Alan Freed speaks volumes. He’s surrounded by 57 songwriters, music executives and producers, all of them male. Except one — Rose Marie McCoy.
Who didn’t love celebrity chef Julia Child? After all, she made French cuisine accessible to America’s cooks with her 762-page cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and brought one of the first cooking shows, The French Chef, into countless living rooms. But if you think she was the mother of modern French cooking, you would be wrong. That honor belongs to Eugénie Brazier.