“I’m Captain Jack Sparrow. Savvy?”
9. Patti Labelle (The Lady Marmalade)Patti LaBelle was edgy before it became acceptable for Black female artists to not only push music’s boundaries, but also defy the rigid dress code of Black singers. As the lead singer of LaBelle, her genre defying sound was a hodgepodge of glam rock, soul, funk, pop and gospel and so was the diva’s fashion-forward style. Patti LaBelle ushered in a 70s glam rock look and it was the complete opposite of the well-manicured and cookie cutter singers of that moment. She performed in glorious feather headpieces, metallic catsuits, theatrical costumes, outrageous hair and belted out taboo subjects in her fiery, high-octave voice. Later in her long-running career, Patti LaBelle would continue to experiment with height-defying hairstyles and opulent ensembles. While the original rock chick may have put away the peacock feathered tutu decades ago, she’s never stop surprising us with her unconventional choices. For nearly five decades Patti LaBelle has boldy revamped her look — from bouffants to towering ‘dos, feathers to sequins, thigh high boots to six inch stilettos — making her one fearless stage siren. “I never thought about how anyone would react to my crazy outfits,” LaBellesays. “I wanted to try new things, so I could care less what people had to say.”
10. Chaka Khan (Every Woman)Men wanted her, women wanted to be her and both were hypnotized by her earth-shattering voice. All through her evolution from funk queen to pop and R&B diva, Chaka Khan has never stopped experimenting with fashion. Born Yvette Marie Stevens on March 23, 1953 in Chicago, Khan rose to fame in the 1970s as the lead singer of funk band Rufus, with hits like “Tell Me Something Good” and “You’ve Got the Love.” It wouldn’t be long before she embarked on a solo career, bringing us timeless hits like “I Feel For You,” “Through the Fire,” and “Ain’t Nobody,” and becoming a beauty and fashion icon, with her signature big hair and eccentric outfits. At 58, Khan is still rocking her luscious locks and confident “Every Woman” attitude.
On the morning of September 4, 1957, fifteen-year-old Dorothy Counts set out on a harrowing path toward Harding High, where-as the first African American to attend the all-white school – she was greeted by a jeering swarm of boys who spat, threw trash, and yelled epithets at her as she entered the building.
Charlotte Observer photographer Don Sturkey captured the ugly incident on film, and in the days that followed, the searing image appeared not just in the local paper but in newspapers around the world.
People everywhere were transfixed by the girl in the photograph who stood tall, her five-foot-ten-inch frame towering nobly above the mob that trailed her. There, in black and white, was evidence of the brutality of racism, a sinister force that had led children to torment another child while adults stood by. While the images display a lot of evils: prejudice, ignorance, racism, sexism, inequality, it also captures true strength, determination, courage and inspiration.
Here she is, age 70, still absolutely elegant and poised.
she deserves to be re-blogged.
she’s so goddamned inspirational
this makes me want to cry
I’ve been reading “Clinging to Mammy” (ReadABookSon). It’s really fascinating. The first time I saw this photo, I thought “wtf..? I guess it was just normal to have some white child suckling from a black woman.” Really, mammies weren’t that normal. Mammies were a status symbol. Mostly the rich had them. Many Whites claimed to have a mammy, even if they didn’t, just to act like they were rich. So, I’m guessing the motivation behind this photo was like "ohh.. look at our baby and her/his mammy. we’re so rich."
And it’s crazy how after slavery ended, mammy became an important image. Activists failed to get a anti-lynching bill passed at the same damn time a bill passed the Senate that would have a monument to mammies erected in Washington DC. Apparently people wanted to honor mammy but not protect her children from being murdered.