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Ella Fitzgerald – In Celebration of Icons – On their shoulder’s we stand!

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Ella Jane Fitzgerald (April 25, 1917 – June 15, 1996) was an American jazz singer often referred to as the First Lady of Song, Queen of Jazz and Lady Ella.

While Fitzgerald appeared in movies and as a guest on popular television shows in the second half of the twentieth century, her musical collaborations with Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and The Ink Spots were some of her most notable acts outside of her solo career.

These partnerships produced recognisable songs like “Dream a Little Dream of Me”, “Cheek to Cheek”, “Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall”, and “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)”.

Apparently in the 50s a popular nightclub Mocambo in Hollywood were Frank Sinatra made his Los Angeles debut in 1943, and it was frequented by the likes of Clark Gable, Charlie Chaplin, Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall and Lana Turner. Ella Fitzgerald was not allowed to play at Mocambo because of her race. Fortunately for Ella, she had a powerful and unlikely benefactor, Marilyn Monroe, who of one of her biggest fans made a telephone call to the nightclub that quite possibly changed the path of her career for good into sending the elevator back down for her.

“I owe Marilyn Monroe a real debt…it was because of her that I played the Mocambo, a very popular nightclub in the ’50s. She personally called the owner of the Mocambo, and told him she wanted me booked immediately, and if he would do it, she would take a front table every night. She told him – and it was true, due to Marilyn’s superstar status – that the press would go wild. The owner said yes, and Marilyn was there, front table, every night. The press went overboard. After that, I never had to play a small jazz club again. She was an unusual woman – a little ahead of her times. And she didn’t know it.” – Ella Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald had an influence on Monroe as well, but years prior to the Mocambo phone call. Monroe was studying the recordings of Fitzgerald, it was rumoured that a vocal coach of Monroe instructed her to purchase Fitzgerald’s recordings of Gershwin music which she listened to it a numerous of times in a row. Continued study of Fitzgerald actually revealed that Ella turned Monroe into a relatively solid singer for about a decade, but those years were overshadowed by her famous “Happy Birthday, Mr. President,” tribute song to JFK in 1962 and her dress-lifting gusts of wind plus her movies.

In 1993, Fitzgerald capped off her sixty-year career with her last public performance. Three years later, Ella died at the age of 79, following years of decline in her health.

After her passing, Fitzgerald’s influence lived on through her fourteen Grammy Awards, National Medal of Arts, Presidential Medal of Freedom, and tributes in the form of stamps, music festivals, and theater namesakes.

We honour you as an Icon of our time!

LACE NEWS:
If you come across any of your creation’s and you have not been credited correctly, please get in touch with us as we do not wish to offend anyone, this page is intended to give information of what we do and what is going on around in Africa fashion and Education. We are creating awareness of information in one area to emerging designers and public to get inspired by. Much Love LACE…..

Source: Wikipedia.org  and Research

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Nichelle Nichols – In Celebration of Icons – On their shoulder’s we stand!

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Nichelle Nichols (born Grace Dell Nichols on December 28, 1932) is an American actress, singer and voice artist. Her most famous role is that of communications officer Lieutenant Uhura aboard the USS Enterprise in the popular Star Trek television series (1966–1969), as well as the succeeding motion pictures, where her character was eventually promoted in Starfleet to the rank of commander. Nichols’ Star Trek character, one of the first African American female characters on American television not portrayed as a servant.

She studied in Chicago as well as New York and Los Angeles. Her break came in an appearance in Kicks and Co., Oscar Brown’s highly touted, but ill-fated 1961 musical. Although the play closed after its brief try-out in Chicago, in an ironic twist, she attracted the attention of Hugh Hefner, the publisher of Playboy, who was so impressed with her appearance that he booked her immediately at his Chicago Playboy Club. Nichols did occasional modelling work. In January 1967, Nichols also was featured on the cover of Ebony magazine, and had two feature articles in the publication in five years.

On Star Trek, Nichols gained popular recognition by being one of the first black women featured in a major television series not portraying a servant; her prominent supporting role as abridge officer was unprecedented. During the first year of the series, Nichols was tempted to leave the series, as she wanted to pursue a Broadway career; however, a conversation with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., changed her mind. She has said that King personally encouraged her to stay on the show, telling her that he was a big fan of the series.

He said she “could not give up” because she was playing a vital role model for black children and young women across the country, as well as for other children who would see blacks appearing as equals. It is also often reported that Dr. King added that “Once that door is opened by someone, no one else can close it again.”

In her role as Lieutenant Uhura, Nichols famously kissed white actor William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk in the November 22, 1968, Star Trek episode “Plato’s Stepchildren”. The episode is popularly cited as the first example of an interracial kiss on U.S. television. The Shatner-Nichols kiss was seen as groundbreaking, even though it was portrayed as having been forced by alien telekinesis. There was some praise and some protest.

After the cancellation of Star Trek, Nichols volunteered her time in a special project with NASA to recruit minority and female personnel for the space agency. She began this work by making an affiliation between NASA and a company, which she helped to run, Women in Motion.

The program was a success. Among those recruited were Dr. Sally Ride, the first American female astronaut, and United States Air Force Colonel Guion Bluford, the first African-American astronaut, as well as Dr. Judith Resnik and Dr. Ronald McNair, who both flew successful missions during the Space Shuttle program before their deaths in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster on January 28, 1986.

We honour you as an Icon of our time!

LACE NEWS:
If you come across any of your creation’s and you have not been credited correctly, please get in touch with us as we do not wish to offend anyone, this page is intended to give information of what we do and what is going on around in Africa fashion and Education. We are creating awareness of information in one area to emerging designers and public to get inspired by. Much Love LACE…..

Source: Wikipedia.org  and Research

Hattie McDaniel – In Celebration of Icons – On their shoulder’s we stand!

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Hattie McDaniel (June 10, 1895 – October 26, 1952) was an American actress, singer-songwriter, and comedienne.

In 1931, McDaniel scored her first small film role as an extra in a Hollywood musical. Then in 1932, she was featured as a housekeeper in The Golden West. McDaniel continued to land parts here and there. But, as roles for black actors were hard to come by, she was once again forced to take odd jobs to make ends meet.

She is best known for her role as Mammy in Gone with the Wind (1939) for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, making her the first Oldest African American actress (44) to win an Academy Award.

The Loew’s Grand Theater on Peachtree Street in Atlanta, Georgia, was selected by the studio as the site for the premiere of Gone with the Wind, Friday, December 15, 1939. As the date of the premiere approached, all the black actors were advised they were barred from attending, excluded from being in the souvenir program, and banned from appearing in advertisements for the film in the South. Studio head David Selznick asked that Hattie McDaniel be permitted to attend, but MGM advised him not to because of Georgia’s segregation laws. Clark Gable threatened to boycott the Atlanta premiere unless McDaniel was allowed to attend, but McDaniel convinced him to attend anyway.

McDaniel had been attacked by the media for taking parts that perpetuated a negative stereotype of blacks; she was criticised for playing servants and slaves who were seemingly content to retain their role as such.

Walter White, then president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, pleaded with African-American actors to stop accepting such stereotypical parts, as he believed they degraded their community. He also urged movie studios to start creating roles that portrayed blacks as capable of achieving far more than cooking and cleaning for white people.

While many blacks were happy over McDaniel’s personal victory, they also viewed it as bittersweet. They believed Gone With the Wind celebrated the slave system and condemned the forces that destroyed it. For them, the unique accolade McDaniel had won suggested that only those who did not protest Hollywood’s systemic use of racial stereotypes could find work and success there.

Since her death, McDaniel has been posthumously awarded two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Additionally, in 1975, she was inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame.

We honour you as an Icon of our time!

LACE NEWS:
If you come across any of your creation’s and you have not been credited correctly, please get in touch with us as we do not wish to offend anyone, this page is intended to give information of what we do and what is going on around in Africa fashion and Education. We are creating awareness of information in one area to emerging designers and public to get inspired by. Much Love LACE…..

Source: Wikipedia.org  and Research