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

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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