Billie Holiday photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1949.
Malcolm X with his wife, Betty Shabazz, and their children during a meeting at the headquarters of his Organization of Afro-American Unity at Hotel Theresa in Harlem on February 20, 1965.
Malcolm is holding his daughter Qubilah. He was assassinated the next day at the Audubon Ballroom in front of his wife and children.
(Photos by Duilio Pallottelli)
James Baldwin photographed by Carl Van Vechten on September 13, 1955.
Eartha Kitt photographed by Carl Van Vechten on October 19, 1952.
Malcolm X and Redd Foxx reunited in the early 1960′s.
In the early 1940s before converting to The Nation of Islam, Malcolm Little then known as “Detroit Red” became close friends with Jon Sanford aka Redd Foxx then known as “Chicago Red”. They both were sharp dressers and resembled each other with their red hair. They worked at Jimmy’s Chicken Shack in Harlem and hustled the street together. Redd confided to Anthony Major, who ran Redd Foxx Productions in the mid-1980s, that Malcolm was the only person he really trusted. “They used to rob places together and sleep on rooftops together. Redd said he knew Malcolm has his back and trusted him. If Redd was in a fight, he could turn his back and know Malcolm was gonna be in the other side, fighting with him.“
For a while they were partners in crime stealing suits and reselling them, dealing marijuana and other petty crimes. They had a falling out as Malcolm’s criminal activities increased resulting in his 6 year incarceration which led to his rebirth as Malcolm X.
“Malcolm didn’t have the showbiz talent so he didn’t give a damn what he got into,” Redd said. “He’d take on anything to get some dough. He was a little bit more aggressive, but I’d rather be sleeping with a broad and go somewhere [to a club] and do fifteen minutes of comedy.” (Black and Blue: The Redd Foxx Story)
“We became good buddies in a speakeasy where later on I was a waiter; Chicago Red was the funniest dishwasher on this earth. Now he’s making his living being funny as a nationally known stage and nightclub comedian. I don’t see any reason why old Chicago Red would mind me telling that he is Redd Foxx.“ – Malcolm X (The Autobiography of Malcolm X)
Adam Clayton Powell Jr. and Hazel Scott on their wedding day in Harlem on August 1, 1945.
A decade removed from fame and recently out of rehab, a 24-year-old Frankie Lymon shows off dance moves to a cheering crowd from his old neighborhood in Harlem in 1967. Lymon is also pictured shopping for music and chatting with his neighbor Margaret Williams. Frankie and his group once rehearsed in her apartment. Lymon was preparing for a comeback before he relapsed and died from a heroin overdose at the age of 25 on February 27, 1968.
W.E.B. Du Bois photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1946.