Stupid Girls

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

More on Pearl Bailey

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Ok, wait now. I don't understand the 180 statement.

[comparing Dorothy Height to Pearl Bailey]

First, that's comparing a civil rights worker with an entertainer. It's sort of like comparing Marcus Garvey to Sachmo.

She was in the first all Black cast of "Hello, Dolly." She was in "Carmen Jones," "Porgy and Bess" and other all Black theater and film productions. She worked with Mahalia Jackson, Sidney Portier, Ella Fitzgerald and the rest of the heavy hitters.

In 1952, she married a white man, adopted two kids and stayed with him 'til her death.

Speaking of Sachmo, I've heard people characterize HIM as an "Uncle Tom," which is ludicrous. I'm thinking people characterize Baily as an "Aunt Jemima," which is scary.

Yes, her daddy was a Holy Roller preacher. Yes, Nixon made her "Ambassador of Love" (how sick was that?). Yes, she got an Presidential Medal of Freedom from Reagan and campaigned for Ford (but VOTED for Carter!). But Republican was a tradition among southern Blacks. Maybe she thought she was changing the system from within?

I think there's a lot more to Bailey, that's all I'm saying. My God, she had her own TV show, back when Oprah was a pup, yelling to the family, "There's colored folk on the tv!"

She ain't Cicely Tyson, I know. Tyson was a later generation, for one thing.

Another thing I've been noticing? This may be a coincidence. A LOT of really activist African Americans of previous generations have links to the Caribbean, West Indies, etc. rather than the south USA. Portier & Tyson fit that description. So does Belefonte.

I don't know, Kate. I guess I'll read her autobiographies, if I can find them. But I think we've made a mistake by passing Pearl Bailey by. I really do.

Yeah, she was a Republican at probably the WORST time in US history to be one until 2000. But I'm just not willing to write her off yet.

Too Small to Fail!

Too Small to Fail!