Friday, December 9, 2011

Divas of the 20th Century Awards Ceremony

Award Recipients, Source: EBR Digital Collection
By Danielle Hall

Long before the launch of BET’s “Black Girls Rock” award shows, Eugene B. Redmond captured the Divas of the 20th Century Awards Ceremony in 1991. The photos from the event constitute an important find in the EBR African American Cultural Life digital collection. The Divas event featured African American women writers, dancers, choreographers, scholars, and entertainers.

One photo in particular captured five women of captivating distinction receiving awards and holding boxed roses: Carmen de Lavallade, Maya Angelou, Ruby Dee, Esther Rolle, and Eleanor Traylor.

Redmond's photograph presents an important gathering that highlights amazing African American women whose artistic and intellectual visions have challenged racialized and gendered boundaries, thrusting black womanhood, black livelihood, and black women’s intellectualism into public consciousness.

Related: The EBR Digital Collection

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