Monday, June 8, 2020

Gladys Bentley.

This is Gladys Bentley and I only just learned about her this past week. 

Jasica Gill from Women Sound Off described Gladys as "a Black gender-nonconforming lesbian who dominated the Harlem Renaissance."

She was revolutionary in her masculinity as James F. Wilson writes, "differing from the traditional male impersonator, or drag king, in the popular theater, Gladys Bentley did not try to 'pass' as a man, nor did she playfully try to deceive her audience into believing she was biologically male. Instead, she exerted a 'black female masculinity' that troubled the distinctions between black and white and masculine and feminine." 

I listened to some of her songs on YouTube, they're gritty and her vocals are so unique. She was known for sporting a tuxedo and a top hat and I was instantly inspired by her. Look at how cool she is! Although the photos I found of her were in black and white, I wanted to showcase Gladys in vibrant color because when she took the stage, there's no way she didn't light up the room.

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