DCS: clara smith

Teenage Clara Smith began performing in tent shows and vaudeville stages in 1910. By the 20s, she was headlining for the Theater Owners Bookers Association circuit, a promoter working exclusively with African-American talent. After appearing all across the United States, Clara settled in New York City, topping the bill at speakeasies and cabarets. She was …

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DCS: avon long

Avon Long was a talented singer and dancer. He appeared as “Sportin’ Life” in the 1942 Broadway revival of Porgy and Bess. He appeared with Lena Horne in Beggar’s Holiday and with Thelma Carpenter in the 1952 revival of Shuffle Along. He originated the role of “John” in Bubbling Brown Sugar and was nominated for …

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DCS: mudcat grant

Jim “Mudcat” Grant, Major League pitcher with 14 seasons under his belt, had a career filled with firsts. Despite being awarded a scholarship to play football and baseball at Florida A&M University, Mudcat had to drop out in order to help his family through a spell of financial hardship. Ever determined, Mudcat was signed as …

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DCS: cindy williams

No, that’s not Natalie Portman, although Cindy Williams thought it was. I met Cindy Williams at a collector show in Gaithersburg, Maryland. A two-plus hour drive from my house, this particular show offered something for both Mrs. Pincus and myself. It boasted a large variety of vendors selling antiques and assorted collectibles, something my wife …

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DCS: charles shackleford

Charles Shackleford could have been big. He was a celebrated forward for NC State in the mid-1980s, with a promising career in the NBA. He played for the New Jersey Nets, Philadelphia 76ers and the Minnesota Timberwolves, with successful stints in the European basketball league in between. Unfortunately, several brushes with the law and an …

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