Thursday, February 28, 2013

Vintage Black Glamour

There's nothing sexier to me than a black and white photo. It shows you people, things, places in their most unadorned state, stripped bare if you will, so we can appreciate their simplicity.
A few months ago, I stumbled across the Facebook page of Vintage Black Glamour and was instantly smitten with the beautiful, rarely seen images of famous black folks and some not so famous black folks.
VBG is the brainchild of writer Nichelle Gainer whose goal, according to a recent NPR profile, was to start a book project showcasing a collection of rarely seen historical photos of actors, educators, writers, students, musicians and more — all African-American.
The book is still in a work in progress, so Gainer decided to share her photo finds and now curates the Vintage Black Glamour Tumblr blog, the Facebook page and Pinterest account.
They are some of the most beautiful images out there, and so of course, I had to share.Take a peek.

I think you know by the looks of those legs, that that is the one and only Tina Turner.
I would pay good money to know what had Harry Belafonte and Martin Luther King laughing so hard. I love this photo. 
Man, that Eartha Kitt had the presence to make a room, and staircases smoulder. 

You didn't think Josephine Baker ran out and got her pedicure done in the streets right? But only she could don a leopard print number and look so fab as her feet got some pedicure action.

Diahann Carroll with designers Bob Mackie and Ray Aghayan as they make adjustments on the cape and dress she wore for the 1975 Academy Awards. Ms. Carroll was nominated in the Best Actress category for her role in the film, “Claudine.” Photo: Isaac Sutton for EBONY.
Diahann Carroll with designers Bob Mackie and Ray Aghayan adjusting her fab gown for the 1975 Academy Awards. Ms. Carroll was nominated in the Best Actress category for her role in the film, “Claudine.” 

Sidney Poitier and Nat “King” Cole cutting up at the 1963 #Oscars at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, April 8, 1963. One of my favorite pictures EVER! Photo: Michael Ochs Archives, Corbis.
Okay, that mischievous grin on Sidney Poitier's face is priceless. What oh what, were he and Nat "King" Cole up to that night at the 1963 Oscars at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium.
Ah, Toni Morrison. You are Beloved. Wilson (1906-1998), who was a staff photographer for EBONY for 33 years. In other news, this photo will be hanging on my wall in the near future…
Red Foxx and Nina Simone chillin in 1959. To this day, Sanford and Son is among my all time favorite television shows. 
Photo: Aretha Franklin rehearses steps with the legendary dancer and choreographer Charles "Cholly" Atkins at a dance studio in 1961. Mr. Atkins (1913-2003) created the iconic dance moves of The Temptations, Gladys Knight and the Pips and The Supremes's famous "Stop! In the Name of Love" hand movement. The Alabama-born Mr. Atkins began his career as a vaudeville performer and was one half of the legendary dance duo Coles and Atkins with Honi Coles. In 1988, he shared a Tony Awards for choreographing the Broadway show, "Black and Blue." Photo: Frank Driggs Collection/Getty Images.
Aretha Franklin. Nuff said.

The poet, Langston Hughes.

Kudos to Gainer for curating this collection, and shining a light on these rarely seen images. Can't wait for the book which will make a great coffee table book, don't you think?  


  1. You are talking to my inner "Sister" on this one. Tina Turner's legs are a freak of greatness. Who else has legs like that? Going to check out VBG on Pinterest.

  2. black and white photos are so powerful and classy.

  3. These are all strikingingly beautiful! I recently read a quote on a photographers's blog, "a colorful photograph shows a person's clothes, but a black and white one shows their soul."

    P.s. thanks for the vote:-)


You know we love to hear from you so yes, holla, holla back.

Blog Design by Get Polished