Category: african american

Betty Davis photographed by Baron Wolman …

Betty Davis photographed by Baron Wolman

for Rags Magazine, 1970.

twixnmix: Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X at the …

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Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X at the United Nations on March 4, 1964.

Malcolm X arranged for Ali (then Cassius X) to meet with diplomats from Africa and Asia at the United Nations.

Sports writer Murray Robinson noted in the New York Journal American that Malcolm X intended to “make the heavyweight champion an international political figure.” Malcolm and Ali made plans to tour Africa together. Days later on March 6, Elijah Muhammad gave Cassius the name Muhammad Ali and forbade all members to communicate with Malcolm after he was ostracized from the Nation of Islam.

A few months later in May 1964, Muhammad Ali had a chance meeting in Ghana, with his former friend and mentor Malcolm X but he turned his back on him.

“Turning my back on Malcolm,” wrote Ali in his 2004 autobiography The Soul of a Butterfly, “was one of the mistakes that I regret most in my life. I wish I’d been able to tell Malcolm I was sorry, that he was right about so many things.  But he was killed before I got the chance… Malcolm was the first to discover the truth, that color doesn’t make you a devil. It is the heart, soul, and mind that define a person. Malcolm was a great thinker and an even greater friend. I might never have become a Muslim if it hadn’t been for Malcolm. If I could go back and do it over again, I would never have turned my back on him.” 

(Read more about their relationship in the book Blood Brothers: The Fatal Friendship Between Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X)

Happy Birthday Malcolm X! May 19, 1925 – Febru…

Happy Birthday Malcolm X! 

May 19, 1925 – February 21, 1965

“They called me ‘the angriest Negro in America.’ I wouldn’t deny that charge. I spoke exactly as I felt. ‘I believe in anger. The Bible says there is a time for anger.’ They called me ‘a teacher, a fomentor of violence.’ I would say point blank, That is a lie. I’m not for wanton violence, I’m for justice. I feel that if white people were attacked by Negroes –

if the forces of law prove unable, or inadequate, or reluctant to protect those whites from those Negroes

then those white people should protect and defend themselves from those Negroes, using arms if necessary. And I feel that when the law fails to protect Negroes from whites’ attack, then those Negroes should use arms, if necessary, to defend themselves.“

(Photos by John Launois, 1964) 

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Adam Clayton Powell Jr. and Hazel Scott on their wedding day in Harlem on August 1, 1945.

Betty Davis photographed by Anthony Barboza, 1…

Betty Davis photographed by Anthony Barboza, 1969.

twixnmix: Joe Louis and Lena Horne photographe…

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Joe Louis and Lena Horne photographed by Carl Van Vechten at Greenwood Lake on September 15, 1941.

Lena Horne was visiting boxer Joe Louis while he trained. The book Stormy Weather: The Life of Lena Horne, details their romance. Both were married to other people, and Louis had even become a father in February 1943. But the world champion of heavyweight boxing kept visiting the Stormy Weather set to see Horne, whom he’d reportedly met at the

New York City nightclub

Café Society. 

Joe spoke openly of their on-again, off-again affair to his friend Alice Key; Horne flaunted a mink coat he’d given to her. On November 12, 1942, Billy Rowe had reported the widespread rumor that Louis, then an army sergeant would divorce his wife to marry Horne. Both he and Horne issued vague denials. “I think that Lena is a grand person, on and off the screen, but that doesn’t mean I want to marry her or vice versa,” said the boxer. Added Horne, Sergeant Louis and I have been friends for several years and to me, like fifty million others, he’s a symbol of greatness. I can certainly admire him and be in his company without hopping off to the alter.”

twixnmix: David Ruffin and Tammi Terrell …

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David Ruffin and

Tammi Terrell

After escaping an abusive relationship with James Brown, Tammi began a volatile relationship with the lead singer David Ruffin in 1965. In 1966, David surprised her with a marriage proposal.

However, when she announced her engagement to David on stage he became upset. Tammi was devastated once she discovered that he had a wife, three children and another girlfriend in Detroit. This led to them having public fights. Tammi was portrayed in the Temptations movie during the Motown picnic scene. It is claimed that

David

hit

Tammi

with a hammer and a machete, though these claims were denied by

Tammi’s family. Earl Van Dyke, leader of Motown’s Funk Brothers band, recalled David beating up Tammi at the Motown Hitsville headquarters. Her sister Ludie Montgomery also confirmed a story that Tammi was hit in the face by Ruffin’s motorcycle helmet, leading to the end of their relationship in 1967. Tammi went on to record classic duets with Marvin Gaye, but she unfortunately died from a brain tumor at the age of 24 in 1970. David died of a drug overdose in 1991.

Tina Turner performing at the “Soul to Soul”…

Tina Turner performing at the “Soul to Soul” concert in Accra, Ghana on March 6, 1971.

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Michael Jackson (1977)

Ebony magazine covers from 1962

Ebony magazine covers from 1962