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The Rise of Black Cool and Black Glamour

The beautiful woman with the hourglass figure gracing the cover of  author Nichelle Gainer’s book “Vintage Black Glamour” is actress/singer Eartha Kitt.

Beautiful and talented, the late great Eartha Kitt



So don’t let anyone tell you that black people didn’t have a middle class or wealth during segregation and during the swinging 60s, because there are a number of photos and writings that prove otherwise. From Madame C J Walker, to sports heroes, educators, inventors, businessmen and businesswomen and entertainers, African Americans resided in a variety of socio-economic lifestyles.

We were, and still are, not a monolithic group. Whether through education or ambition, undeniable talent or heart stopping beauty, blacks back in the day became successful in spite of obstacles like inequality.


The book Vintage Black Glamour can be purchased on Amazon


Brief bio on Eartha Kitt from The Guardian.com:

” ‘Once called the “most exciting woman in the world” by Orson Welles, Kitt became a singer and dancer whose suggestive and sensuous performances captured the public imagination in the 1950s. Her former lover Charles Revson, the billionaire founder of Revlon cosmetics, even created a lipstick for her, calling it Fire and Ice. In the 1960s she made the role of Catwoman her own when she became the first black woman to achieve mainstream TV success in America with Batman, even breaking racial taboos by flirting on screen with Adam West in the lead role.’ ”  – Adam Luck

Read more about Eartha Kitt here



Additional examples of black cool and glamour:


Popular band leader and singer Billy Eckstine
Popular band leader and singer Billy Eckstine. Women swooned mightily over this man.



Singer Della Reese


Before Sidney, before Denzel, there was fine as hell James Edwards
Before Sidney, before Denzel, there was fine as hell trailblazing actor James Edwards



Boyishly handsome Sam Cooke
Boyishly handsome Sam Cooke not only sang, but also wrote his biggest hit “A Change is Gonna Come.” Other songs by Cooke include “You Send Me” “Only Sixteen” and “Bring it on Home to Me” (Lou Rawls also sang on this hit).



Lola Falana and Sammy Davis Jr
Lola Falana and Sammy Davis Jr



Can you name these famous black celebrities?




Highlight the blanks for the answers: 1. Nat King Cole  2. The Nicholas Brothers   3. Josephine Baker

4. Sammy Davis Jr   5. Dorothy Dandridge  6. Lena Horne

7. Sidney Poitier


Here’s my fictional glamorous heroine from the soon to be released The Queen of Comedy:

Click the photo to read an excerpt from The Queen of Comedy


Dinah Washington
Dinah Washington was known as the Queen of Jazz and also the Queen of Jukeboxes



Nina Simone
Nina Simone. The Legend.


Nancy Wilson
Jazz artist and actress Nancy Wilson
Abby Lincoln_singer and actress
Abby Lincoln, Singer and Actress




Glamour Girl Sheila Guyse
Glamour girl and singer Sheila Guyse


Actress Francine Everett
(on the right) Actress Francine Everett


Francine Everett
Francine Everett


Actress Sallie Blair
Singer Sallie Blair



If you want to see more glamour photos, please visit this site:



Old Hollywood Black Actresses on Pinterest

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