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Too Black For America: 1950's Beauty Helen Williams - The First African American Fashion Model >>HELEN WILLIAMS WAS THE FIRST female African American fashion model to break into the mainstream. But it was the French, rather than the Americans, that embraced her.

from TIME.com

Josephine Baker: An Expat's Triumphant Return to Broadway

Josephine Baker: the perfect embodiment of the 1920s “Jazz Age.” (See a slide Show from LIFE)

With the perfect hourglass figure, backless dresses & silver tinted hair, jazz singer Joyce Bryant became known as "The Bronze Bombshell" AKA The Black Marilyn Monroe. She would become the first dark-skinned African-American woman celebrated by the mass media as a 'sex-symbol'. She made her way to the stage in 1940. It was there she gained national and international acclaim for her earthy, sultry tone and figure flattering costumes.