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Vintage Black Glamour

"Me at sixteen with prom date. My brother’s best friend, Milton!" ~ Vanessa Shaw submitted this photo to our #myVBG page at The Vintage Black Glamour book (

The magazine feature published in the Observer 29 September 2014 about the book 'Vintage Black Glamour' by Nichelle Gainer. Published by Rocket 88

Tony Orlando and Dawn: Tony Orlando, Telma Hopkins and Joyce Vincent Wilson in the early 1970s. Their best known hit was “Tie a Yellow Ribbon ‘Round the Ole Oak Tree” in 1973 and they starred in a short-lived variety show the next year on CBS. Telma Hopkins would go on to a successful acting career on various shows including, of course, “Family Matters.” Photo: Joel Brodsky/Corbis.

Geoffrey Holder (1930-2014) was born in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and arrived in New York in 1952. He would go on to win a Guggenheim for painting in 1957 and was a principal dancer at the Metropolitan Opera Ballet. In 1975, he won two Tonys in the same evening for directing and choreographing “The Wiz.” He is best known to most as the “Un-cola Man” in the 1970s 7-Up commercials and the 1992 film “Boomerang." Photo: Bradley Smith/Corbis.

"Vintage Black Glamour, a hefty, handsome new coffee-table book, is full of such stories, with photographs of those shunned by the spotlight, as well as idiosyncratic, unseen shots of those who weren’t. It begins with an 1891 picture of French horsewoman Selika Lazevski, and ends in 1981 with Sister Sledge." Very pleased with this Vintage Black Glamour feature in The Guardian's Observer Sunday magazine.

Vintage black glamour: pride and prejudice

Diahann Carroll sits for a portrait by French singer Charles Aznavour on the Place Du Tertre in Montmartre, an artist meeting place in Paris on Sept. 13, 1972. They were filming “Cole Porter in Paris,” an NBC special that aired in January 1973. Photo: AP.

From The Guardian: "Peter Jackson, December 2, 1889. Born in 1860 in St Croix, then the Danish West Indies, Jackson was a boxing champion who spent long periods of time touring Europe. In England, he staged the famous fight against Jem Smith at the Pelican Club in 1889. In 1888 he claimed the title of Australian heavyweight champion. Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

A member of the African Choir, London Stereoscopic Company, 1891. From The Guardian: The African Choir were a group of young South African singers that toured Britain between 1891 and 1893. At some point during their stay, they had group and individual portraits made on plate-glass negatives. That long-lost series of photographs, unseen for 120 years, is the dramatic centrepiece of an illuminating new exhibition called Black Chronicles II. Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The beautiful Whitney Houston was born 51 years ago today in Newark, New Jersey. This photo was taken in New York City in 1980 during her modeling days. Photo: Doug Vann/Corbis.

I am excited to announce Vintage Black Glamour's fan site #myVBG - created so we can admire the VBG icons in YOUR life! This is my late great-grandmother Nellie Parson Swilley in the 1940s. I would be honored to have you share the divas in your family on #myVBG. Upload your photos at with her name, city, date/location of photo, a fun VBG-ish fact about her with #myVBG and #vbgbook. Thank you!

Happy 84th Birthday to the magnificent Geoffrey Holder! This awesome photo, one of my favorites, was taken by Jerry Schatzberg.

Happy Birthday Iman! Can you believe this fashion legend is 59 years old today? This photo was taken by the great Francesco Scavullo in 1977.

I’ve always loved this photo of Dorothy Dandridge relaxing with extras on the set of “Carmen Jones”. What do you think they were talking about? Photo: Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library.

Josephine Premice (1926-2001), the splendid Tony-nominated actress, singer and dancer was born 88 years ago today in Brooklyn, New York. Diahann Carroll, her best friend for more than four decades, called the Haitian-American aesthete “a naturally elegant woman who had exquisite taste in everything in life” and credited her with her fashion advice that she still uses. Photo (1951): Kurt Hutton/Stringer/Getty Images.

I am saddened to learn that Alice Coachman, the first Black woman to win a gold medal at the Olympic Games (London 1948 for the high jump) died today at the age of 90 near her home in Albany, Georgia. In this photo, Ms. Coachman (far right) takes a break and watches the 1948 London games with fellow athletes Emma Reed, of Nashville, Tennessee (broad and high jumper) and Nell C. Jackson, of Tuskegee, Alabama, (200 meters and relay. Photo: Bettman/Corbis.