DCS: marvel rea

Seventeen-year old Marvel Rea joined up with the Keystone Film Company, landing a spot among the famed Sennett Bathing Beauties, a celebrated group of young ladies assembled by producer Mack Sennett. The Bathing Beauties made promotional appearances for the movie studio and were well received where ever they went. Marvel made her film debut in …

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DCS: william dorsey swann

Almost a century before Stonewall, William Dorsey Swann — known to his acquaintances as “The Queen” — fought for gay rights. Born into slavery around 1860, William grew up in a tumultuous time in American history. He was freed under Abraham Lincoln‘s Emancipation Proclamation, but the Ku Klux Klan were a rising power in the …

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DCS: cicely tyson

After several minor roles in movies and television, Cicely Tyson was recognized for her soulful and passionate role in the 1972 film Sounder. She was honored with Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations. From there, Cicely’s career took off. With critical acclaim and more awards, she became an inspirational figure in the field of entertainment. …

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DCS: don cornelius

After a stint in the United States Marine Corps, Don Cornelius tried his hand at a number of different jobs. He sold tires, then cars and finally insurance. He even joined the Chicago Police. But, the thirty-year old husband and father of two took a chance on a three-month broadcasting course. Upon completion, he landed …

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DCS: olivia hooker

Over the 1921 Memorial Day weekend in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a 19 year-old African-American shoeshiner named Dick Rowland was accused of assaulting a 17 year-old white woman named Sarah Page. Rowland was taken into police custody. A group of angry white members of the community stormed the courthouse. Rumor spread among the black community that Rowland …

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DCS: alberta hunter

Alberta Hunter began her career singing in brothels. She struggled until she was able to find an audience in whites-only men’s clubs in Chicago. She worked alternately singing in dark, smoky cabaret rooms and peeling potatoes in the kitchen of the same establishments. Her persistence paid off and Alberta soon found herself headlining at the …

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DCS: sterling magee

Sterling Magee was a session guitarist in the 1960s, playing on recordings by Ray Charles, James Brown, King Curtis and Marvin Gaye. He also released a few solo recordings on Ray Charles’ record label. But, Sterling walked away from it all, angered by the way black musicians were treated in the music industry. Sterling landed …

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DCS: falco

Johann Hölzel was determined to be a pop star. Exhibiting a natural musical talent, young Johann began playing in various bands in the Vienna Underground music scene. Bucking trends set by the crowds, Johann presented a clean-cut image, sporting short hair, dark glasses and stylish clothing. He played bass under the stage name “John DiFalco” …

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