“Baby Esther” was a phenomenal scat singer, and one of the most charismatic performers of her time. She was a trained dancer and acrobat. At 4-years-old, Russian-American theatrical manager Lou Bolton saw her performance and was blown away. “She's a young Florence Mills,” the newspapers said. Like Josephine Baker and many performers of her day, Baby Esther was not accepted in America because she was Black. Instead, her manager arranged a European tour in 1929 and she was described as the highest-paid child artist in the world. She sold out the Moulin Rouge and performed for royals.
At GirlTrek, we say “never ask permission to save your own life.” We say it WHILE we work together to topple oppressive systems because we believe that we have what it takes to thrive. But this story reminds us of the many things that have been stolen from us – resources, culture, reputation, royalties, and childhoods. Let's take stock on today's call.
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Disclaimer: We do not own the rights to the music played during this broadcast. Original content can be found here:
Black Beauty – Duke Ellington: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4fP4cGo6sc
Fingertips (Pts. I & II) – Little Stevie Wonder: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3ubgVjp3CY