Babylon Girls is a groundbreaking cultural history of the African American women who performed in variety shows—chorus lines, burlesque revues, cabaret acts, and the like—between 1890 and 1945. Through a consideration of the gestures, costuming, vocal techniques, and stagecraft developed by African American singers and dancers, Jayna Brown explains how these women shaped the movement and style of an emerging urban popular culture. In an era of U.S. and British imperialism, these women challenged and played with constructions of race, gender, and the body as they moved across stages and geographic space. They pioneered dance movements including the cakewalk, the shimmy, and the Charleston—black dances by which the “New Woman” defined herself. These early-twentieth-century performers brought these dances with them as they toured across the United States and around the world, becoming cosmopolitan subjects more widely traveled than many of their audiences.
Investigating both well-known performers such as Ada Overton Walker and Josephine Baker and lesser-known artists such as Belle Davis and Valaida Snow, Brown weaves the histories of specific singers and dancers together with incisive theoretical insights. She describes the strange phenomenon of blackface performances by women, both black and white, and she considers how black expressive artists navigated racial segregation. Fronting the “picaninny choruses” of African American child performers who toured Britain and the Continent in the early 1900s, and singing and dancing in The Creole Show (1890), Darktown Follies (1913), and Shuffle Along (1921), black women variety-show performers of the early twentieth century paved the way for later generations of African American performers. Brown shows not only how these artists influenced transnational ideas of the modern woman but also how their artistry was an essential element in the development of jazz.
Follow Me to Global Sexy Beauties!!!
So looks habesha
“I went to the Aware Women’s Clinic on Friday, May 24, 1986. There were at least 15 of us that were there that day. The took us all into a room so we could fill out a form and they gave us all some kind of pill. I do not know what it was. The only question that I remember answering was the last one, “Do you really want to have this abortion?” I wrote no. They collected our forms and few minutes later a nice lady came and took me out of the room. We went down a hall and into her office. She very kind and soft spoken, she was the grandmotherly type. She asked me why I put no on the last question. I told her that I loved the feeling of being pregnant. I also told her the story that lead me to the clinic. She agreed with the other ladies and assured me that I was making the best choice. It was only a blob of tissue, not a baby yet, I was too young to have a baby anyway, when I left there that day I would never have to think about it again, etc…. so, I allowed them to kill my baby that day.
I feel led to tell you about the entire experience that day. When I first arrived at the clinic there was a girl there about 14 years old. She was crying and begging her parents not to let them kill her baby. Someone on the staff came and took her and her parents to another room away from the rest of us. I did not see her again that day. However, I did hear her screams an hour or so later.
After I joined the group again, they took us into a room for us to change into a gown. We were all just sitting in that room in silence and awkwardness. The nurse came in and told us they would start the procedures soon and they would take us one at a time. (like an assembly line) The minute she walked out of the door we heard the 14 year old. She was yelling and begging the doctor not to kill her baby. I will never, ever forget the sound of her screams as long as I live! The lady that took me into her office earlier came into the room with us. She said that the girl was okay, they hadn’t even started the procedure yet she was just a little frightened. (YEA RIGHT!) Well, you can guess who they took next? Me of course. I know they were worried that I was about to leave the clinic.
The grandmotherly lady took me in there herself and told me she would hold my hand. The doctor said only two things to me. The first was, “Thank God I have one that is not screaming!” Then he turned on a machine that sounded like a huge vacuum cleaner. The grandmotherly lady told me it would hurt a little but would only take a minute, and the doctor finished the procedure. The second thing he said to me was, “You were barely six weeks along,” and he left the room.”
You did what women have to do these days thanks to the patriarchy’s messages to have lots of penis-in-vagina. Only wish more women could have the chance to go to a midwife instead of having some brainwashed DUDE’S head and hands in your crotch. Men need to stay away from women’s business, but they’ve got us on lockdown in clinics, don’t they?
May we female people find a way to grow rue in our backyards and do menstrual extractions so that this is something that may be taken care of privately among women friends and sisters.
I am sad that most women have no idea that women used to take care of their own health for centuries before the the male health care model. I wish those options were more readily available today.
How glorious is this?! Upcycling at its finest…
Model: Denise Manning, Make Up : Alexa DelaRosa, Jewellery: Rebecca Onyett
Photographer Marcus Hessenberg
Hiroshima victims photographed by Gonichi Himura