Who was the most famous flapper of the 1950s? Where were these women flaunting their femininity?
What did they do in the 1920s? Well, they spent their days working as maidens and housekeepers, in factories or mills. They worked as clerks and secretaries. They did odd jobs that you wouldn’t associate with beauty. They were often housewives. They traveled the country as seamstresses. These women wore long dresses and tight hair. The dresses were often very revealing. Many of them would be in long dresses, often white, white and colored by the local blacksmiths. They were often very beautiful. Sometimes, they had small white hats. Sometimes, they had full-length black wigs. And even as little as two or three pairs of white socks. They were all beautiful. A lot of these women were working full-time jobs. A lot of our country’s women were working full-time jobs. But, they did have the privilege of being beautiful.
It’s often not often that you see American women of African-American descent, of any ethnicity, being onscreen on prime time television in Hollywood. But, you know, with the benefit of hindsight, maybe we should have seen. They weren’t only on screen in Hollywood; they were in the news, too!
How did they get there? Why weren’t African Americans represented more prominently on network television?
Well, look; I can understand the feeling. I can understand why they were uncomfortable when these wonderful women showed up on the news and were being covered by the cameras and there was not really much that was being said about them. But, look; look at the fact that a movie called Gone with the Wind came out back in 1939. That movie is about, I believe, about four black women on a plantation and why the South was racist. There were really no movies, period, that didn’t portray the South as racist in the twenties and beyond. The most glaring example of this was The Seven Years War. What was the point of that film?
When black Americans saw this on television in the 1920s and ’30s, they saw their brothers, their sons, their husbands and their fathers being killed on the battlefield, their homes being burned, the churches being burned. That was not happening in Chicago. That was not happening in Mississippi. It wasn’t happening to any white American being shot on the battlefield. These things seemed to happen to black Americans, yet these things were
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