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.
Florence Mills in 1923. She was born in 1895, to ex-slaves in a Washington, D.C. slum. By the age of four, she was performing on stage. By the 1920s, she was the toast of Broadway and London and the first black woman featured in Vogue. Her trademark song, ‘I'm a Little Blackbird Looking for a Bluebird’ was a protest against racial inequality. Mills died in 1927, aged only 31.