Tag Archives: magazine

Are Negro Girls Getting Prettier?

Ebony February 1966, Vol. 21 Issue 4, p25

The article focuses on the improvements in the beauty, health and personality of African American women. According to a survey, the African American women are considered to have improved in their charm and beauty. The medical specialists think that better nutrition and the grooming knowledge have contributed to the improvement in their beauty. Edward W. Beasley, a pediatrician, states that dancing is good for the development of limbs and is thus advisable for women. Abstract from Ebsco.

“Experts say better nutrition, grooming, know-how have brought improvement.” Gone, “…are the spindly legs, sagging bosoms, unruly rumps and ungroomed heads that marred many a potential lovely of yesteryear.  Such common flaws have been displaced by a feminine refinement, both facial and physical, that has elevated today’s young lady of hue to a place of prominence among the most pulchritudinous.”

In the April 1966 issue of the magazine, Ebony shared several letters to the editor in reaction to “Are Negro Girls Getting Prettier?” article.  Some of the letters Ebony published, to Ebony’s credit, were quite scathing (Click the image of the letters below to view a larger version).


Judging Ebony’s 49 year old cover article, from a 2015 perspective, would be unfair. However, given the reaction of some of the readers, during the period, it is clear issues of beauty are no less controversial then as they are today.

What is most remarkable is that these issues persists to this day and continue to be exacerbated by Black media.


Even through natural hairstyles are becoming increasingly popular among Black women, rarely do these sisters grace the cover of magazines.

At least the days of cover stories like this have past, but we still have a long way to go.  One of the Ebony magazine readers, in 1966, put it best, “…you should view the ‘sisters’ through your own eyes and not through the eyes of a ‘Chuck’ and his standards.”

Of course no AALBC.com blog post would be complete without a book recommendation. Vintage Black Glamour (Rocket 88 Books, February 18, 2015) is an gorgeous archive of glamor photographs covering a 100 year period with diverse images of Black beauty.   This volume will demonstrate, for those who had any doubt; Black women were ALWAYS beautiful.


Vintage Black Glamour Includes over 150 stunning black and white and color photographs — including many rare and unseen archive images.

Using rarely accessed photographic archives and private collections, inspired by her family history, Nichelle Gainer has unearthed a revealing treasure trove of historic photographs of famous actors, dancers, writers and entertainers who worked in the 20th-century entertainment business, but who rarely appeared in the same publications as their white counterparts.

Alongside the familiar images and stories of renowned performers such as Eartha Kitt, Lena Horne and Aretha Franklin are photos of literary legends such as Lorraine Hansberry and Maya Angelou as well as images of less well-remembered figures such as Bricktop, Pearl Primus, Diana Sands. Vintage Black Glamour is a unique, sumptuous and revealing celebration of the lives and indomitable spirit of Black women of a previous era.


Although talented, successful and ground-breaking, many of the women in these
pages were ignored by mainstream media, but their life’s work and attitude stand as
inspiration for us still, today. With its stunning photographs and insightful
biographies, this book is a hugely important addition to Black history archives.

vintage-black-glamore-still vintage-black-glamor-still-3


Share Info from Indie Black Owned Websites

Add Huria Search Resources to Your Website or Blog

Huria Search was created in reaction to the current trend in search results that favor deep pocketed advertisers and large corporations over independent websites. Huria Search

While this trend affects all independent websites, the impact on Black websites is more severe.  As a result, some of the best content generated for and by the Black community is buried too deep in traditional search results to be easily discovered.

Today, not only can you discover great content from independent websites more easily, you can help others do the same, with a growing set of databases and tools from Huria Search.

Huria Search Engine
Huria Search allows you to quickly search hundreds of Black owned websites (including all of the sites in the databases below) free of advertisements!

The Top Black Websites
Here you will find a list of the most popular websites targeted to Black people on the world wide web.

Database of Independent Newspapers
A database of 100+ Black owned newspapers

Database of Independent Bookstores
A database 100+ Black owned booksellers across the United States

The Power List
The only National Bestsellers List of books read by African Americans

Book Sites
A database of the top Black book websites

The Book Look Video Program
Popular online video book program which can be added to your site.  New videos are served to you about twice a month

A list of 50+ Black owned magazines (a sharable database coming soon)

You are free, indeed encouraged, to share any and all of the information on Huria Search.  To paraphrase a conscious Brother I know, “This information must be shared”.

Learn more on about how to support Huria Search’s efforts.

5 Ways to Support Independent Black Voices

The Digital Divide, or the disparity between internet adoption rates between various groups, has been a topic of conversation since the internet became a commercial entity two decades ago.  There is a great deal of warranted concern about the long term impact on those unable to easily gain access to the internet.   In recent years, due in part to smart phone use, the disparity in internet access has narrowed.  However, there are problems looming which makes the Digital Divide look like a minor inconvenience.

Black Owned Newspapers

Black Newspapers and The Book Look in Action

The most pernicious problem is the lack of diversity in the information we can easily discover online.  For a casual observer, or someone new to the web, this may not appear to be a significant problem because one can’t know what is unknown.  However, as a keen observer of the World Wide Web for almost 20 years the impact has been devastating — particularly when it comes to Black owned, independent, content producers.

Try this experiment:  Search for a news story on the recent 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.  Did a single story from a Black owned newspaper or website come up on the first page of results, the second or even the third?  It is worth noting, only 6% of searchers click on the 2nd page of search results.

One can make the case that newspapers like The Wall Street Journal, The LA Times or The Guardian (which topped my results) have more resources and therefore should be at the top of one’s search results.  However, I’d argue that the coverage of this seminal event in Black culture by the local reporters of The Afro-American, District Chronicles or the Washington Informer newspapers deserve to be returned higher in the search results.

The difficulty in discovering the websites of Black owned newspapers has a direct and adverse impact on the viability of these newspapers.  Conversely, search engines support large websites by returning the largest sites highest in search results — contributing to their growth.   It does not matter whether search engines and big sites are deliberately colluding.  The results are clear, Black independent websites are buried too deeply in the search results to be easily found.

Fortunately there are many things we can do to counteract this problem.   Indeed the very tools which are crowding out independent Black websites can be used to uplift and support Black them.  We just have to be willing to do something.  Here are 5 thing you can do today.

1 – Add the Huria Search Engine to Your Website

Huria Search is actually driven by a fee based version of the Google search engine.  Paying the fee allows me to strip out sponsored search results, eliminating all advertising.  The results are curated — only independent, Black owned websites are returned.

Try the experiment described earlier:  Search for a news story on the 50th anniversary of the march on Washington using Huria Search.   You’ll notice a stark, hopefully refreshing,  difference in the search results.  I suspect you’ll discover an interesting website that you were previously unaware of on the very first page of results.  Visit this page to learn how to add the Huria Search engine to your website.

2 – Add a List of Black Owned Newspapers to Your Website

You can provide a valuable resource to your visitors by adding this database of independent newspapers, who have a website, and are a member of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA).  These newspapers are important because they provide local coverage of news that is relevant to the Black community.

For additional insight please read the following articles, “An interview with Cloves Campbell, Jr., Chairman of the NNPA”, “Why Did The City Sun [1984-1996] Matter?” and “What’s Going On? Black-on-Black Homicide Hits Home.”

3 – Add Black Owned Book Stores to Your Website

This resource is actually a full blown website site.  Give your visitors the ability to search for an independent bookstore by state or name by displaying a feature rich website showing business hours, social media, video, directions, photos and more — all dynamically updated.   Click here for instructions.

4 – Add The Book Look to Your Website

The Book Look is a rapidly growing and popular online video program about Black books, authors, events and more.  The Book Look video is updated twice a month.  You simply  place the code and we do the rest.  Learn more about The Book Look and how you can share this wonderful program with your visitors.

5 – Add the Power List Best-Selling Books to Your Website

The Power List is the only national bestsellers list focused on books written or read by African Americans.  The Power List accumulates data on these books and compiles that information into a quarterly best-selling books list.  It is a joint project established by AALBC.com, Cushcity.com and Mosaicbooks.com.  “The Power List” is published four times per year, in the spring, summer, fall and winter.  You can make this list available to your visitors very easily.

There is More to Come

Book Store Resource in Action

Book Store Resource in Action

All of these resources can be added to your website by simply copying and pasting a few short lines of code.  You never have to touch the code again.  All updates and changes take place automatically.

This is just the beginning.  There will be additional enhancements to the resources above and I’ll introduce new resources in the future.  Right now I’m working on a shareable databases of Black book websites and Black owned magazines.

These resources are provided free our charge to anyone interested in supporting independent Black voices on the World Wide Web. It is crucial that we help independent Black platforms thrive online.

Let’s be clear, your help is needed and mutual supports is required.  Large corporations will not do it for us, nor will they produce acceptable alternatives.   They simply do not have our best interests in mind.

If you are developer and would like to volunteer your expertise or if you have access to information you would like to share  please contact me at troy@aalbc.com.

Finally, while these services are provided at no cost, they are not free.  Google search, website thumbnails, web hosting, domain name registration, and most significantly development are not free.  If you are interested in financially supporting my efforts to uplift and support our voices online, then please consider making a contribution (50% tax deductible) here: http://www.huria.org/support.html.

Question: Troy, I’d like to support this effort, but I don’t have a website and I can’t afford to provide financial support.  What can I do?

Answer: You can help raise awareness of this situation by sharing this article with others.  These issues impact everything from journalism to entertainment, online and off.  Again your support matters and is needed.


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