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Curtis Jacobs

was born in Woodbrook, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, on 6 May 1935, into a black family with a long tradition of producing masquerade bands. He would come to be regarded as the greatest bandleader in the modern history of Carnival, the annual festival of masquerade and music. His first influences came from his father, Aldwyn “Sonny” Bailey, who led his own band from 1932 to 1940, as well as other bandleaders like Ormand Hackshaw, Leonard Carty, and Ken Morris. His family seems to have been influenced by the ideas of Marcus Garvey who had a large following in Trinidad and Tobago While a student at Tranquility Government School Bailey s interest in fine art was enhanced under the guidance of Mohammed Farouk M P Alladin one of Trinidad s foremost visual artists Bailey excelled in track and field and basketball and in fact became a member of the national ...


Roshini Avula

the daughter of Elizabeth Dearing, a nurse from Tuskegee, Alabama and Charles Dearing, a tailor from Manhattan. She had two sisters, Carole and Bianca, and also two brothers, Charles and Andre. Dearing reported that she inherited her tailoring talent from her both parents. She grew up in Manhattan and graduated from City College with a B.A. in mathematics and science.

Dearing’s dream was to become a dancer and an actor, but she is ultimately known for her skill as a costume designer. She began as a dancer with Chuck Davis at The Ailey School and with the Sun Ock Lee Dance Company and Mariam Makeba. She acted in The Great MacDaddy and Dream on Monkey Mountain with the Negro Ensemble Company, which was founded in New York in 1967 She married John Parks an accomplished dancer at The Ailey School with whom she had a daughter Aissatou She and ...


Rachel Shor

dancer, choreographer, and educator, was born in Statesville, North Carolina. The family moved to Washington, D.C., where Johnson, nimble in gymnastics and athletics, was noticed at the local YMCA. Recommended to the Jones-Haywood School of Ballet, which he attended on scholarship, the teenager was selected by the school's founders, Doris Jones and Clara Haywood, to apply to the prestigious School of American Ballet (SAB) in New York City. Along with classmate Chita Rivera, Johnson was accepted, again on scholarship, as one of the first African Americans and the first “black black” (Dunning, New York Times, 25 September 1975) to achieve this honor. He decided to first finish high school, where he was studying art, another talent that aided his professional career.

At SAB, Johnson was mentored by Jerome Robbins co director of the New York City Ballet had a solo in the ...


costume and fashion designer, was born Zelda Barbour in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. She was the eldest of seven children of Blanche Christian Barbour, a homemaker, and James Barbour, a cook on the Pennsylvania Railroad. Zelda received a Catholic school education that included training in music. As was typical for girls growing up in the early twentieth century, she learned to sew as a child by making doll clothes. She refined her technique observing her grandmother's skilled dressmaking and recalled in a 1994 interview (Gonzalez, 1994) that at a young age she made a dress for her grandmother that so pleased the older woman that she was buried in it.

During her long career Zelda Valdes was known by various names including Zelda Valdes Zelda Wynn Valdes and Zelda Wynn Her career in fashion began when she moved to White Plains New York as a teenager where she worked in ...