Monday, September 29, 2014

That's Old News! (#8)



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1929 was a great year for Black-Americans in Hollywood! You had the Christie Film Company shorts, Hearts in Dixie, Hallelujah!, and more. But just as the doors had open, they were slowly pushed closed again. 

Clarence Brooks, an unsung legend of race movies, talked to a Chicago-based correspondent about the lack of roles for black actors. His words were featured in the Sept. 1, 1934 issue of The Afro-American. Read it here ("On the Air" by Charles I. Bowen).

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Joe Louis the entertainer???

Joe Louis
Photographed by Carl Van Vechten
From Wikimedia Commons

According to the Aug. 24, 1935 issue of The Afro-American, the Brown Bomber was set to join Bill "Bojangles" Robinson in a vaudeville show in September of 1935--either before or after his legendary fight against Max Baer. Get the details here ("Dapper Joe Louis to Make Vaude Tour With Bill").


Bill "Bojangles" Robinson
Photographed by James Kriegsmann (New York)
From Wikimedia Commons 

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A big night for Harlem's theater community...

Richard Wright (1943)
Photograph by Gordon Parks
From Wikimedia Commons

Black theatergoers, performers, and playwrights of New York may have had September 6 circled on their 1940 calendars. According to this Aug. 24, 1940 issue of The Afro-American, the Playwrights' Company made plans for a grand debut on that date. 

Paul Robeson (1942)
Photographed by Gordon Parks
From Wikimedia Commons

The purpose of the company was to create a "professional theatre for Harlem"--one that could be compared to (or even surpass) the "Negro unit" of New York's Federal Theatre. Set to make appearances at the event were Richard Wright, Paul Robeson, and Hazel Scott.

Hazel Scott (1956)
Photographed by James Kriegsmann (New York)
From Wikimedia Commons

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Speaking of Joe Louis...

Marva Trotter Louis surrounded by Navy recruits (ca. 1941 - ca. 1945)
National Archives and Records Administration (Photographer Unknown)
(from Wikimedia Commons)

According to the Aug. 31, 1946 issue of The Afro-American, performer, model, and at this time, ex-wife of Joe Louis, Marva Trotter Louis signed on to star in the 1947 film, Boy! What a Girl!. The film was set to go into production on September 16th of that year. However, Ms. Louis didn't appear in the completed film. After the movie's completion, Marva would also fulfill a sixteen-week engagement at the Folies Berg√®re. Get all of the details here ("Marva Louis Gets Star Role in First Herald Film").


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A September wedding...

Promotional photo of Katy Jurado for San Antone (1953)
Republic Pictures (Photographer Unknown)
From Wikimedia Commons

Actress Katy Jurado and actor Ernest Borgnine set their wedding date for September ("...just as soon as my divorce becomes final," said Borgnine). The couple made plans to wed in Katy's native Mexico. Read more about it here in the May 26, 1959 issue of Ocala Star-Banner ("Ernest Borgnine Prefers Easy Way of Mexican Life").

Katy Jurado and Ernest Borgnine in a promotional photo for The Badlanders (1958)
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (Photographer Unknown)
From Wikimedia Commons

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I hope you found the eighth installment of That's Old News! informative! See you next month! :)

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