1940: Oscar So Black

McDaniel bounded up the steps to accept her Oscar—back then a small plaque with a petite Oscar figurine welded to it—and forgot(?) the speech Selznick International had prepared for her. Continue reading


Back It Up (Traveling While Black Part II)

Woe be unto you if you traveled while black and got into a bad automobile accident. That’s what happened to entertainer Ethel Waters … Continue reading

Traveling While Black: This One’s for Watts

Traveling While Black. Where do I start? The accommodations on the slave ships? Full-price tickets for a Jim Crow ride? Accidents victims who were refused care at the white hospital, who died on the way to the “colored” one? Before … Continue reading

Adventures Along the Color Line

At one point in the US, upwards of 13,000 light-skinned blacks a year exited the race to pass for white, many never to be heard from again. Continue reading