Book Reviews – so far so good

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L to R: My mom, Atty. Walter Gordon, Jr., Kay Seeley, Eddie, Mrs. William Dickerson, unidentified guest, Rev. Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., Rev. Clayton Russell and Rev. George Garner (oh, and I am in the middle!)

When I began this post I got a little teary eyed, and I think it is because it is just beginning to soak in that I have actually had a book published. Me. A book about my father (with a chapter on my mom). People have read the book and have posted reviews in newsletters, online and have sent their thoughts through email. So far the reviews are good.

For those new to this blog I have written a rags-to-riches biography about my father, the legendary Eddie Green, filmmaker, movie and Broadway star, old time radio icon and composer, who died when I was three.  Eddie Green The Rise of an Early 1900s Black American Entertainment Pioneer. The idea occurred to me back in 1996. With help from my mom, a lot of research and determination and love, the book was published in July, 2016.

Below is a excerpt from an email I received from Patricia, the lady that interviewed me during my second appearance on the YesterdayUSA internet radio program:

What a remarkable and seamless blend of personal thoughts and feelings you captured (which added such warmth and life to the book) while at the same time maintaining an objective distance that made the book impartial and educational and Eddie Green captivating.

Kudos are marvelous, darling! So I am trying with this post to learn a bit more about setting up a site that includes more than just my posts. I am attempting to have Category pages, for instance: Reviews, Book Info, Events.

When I started out my idea of writing a book was small. With time the idea and my realizations grew.

Maybe Eddie was thinking about the future of his daughter as he looked at me at my christening. He looks very contemplative. Bet he never thought I would grow up and write a book about his life that would bring him from out of the shadows back into the light of acknowledgement he deserves.

Book reviews were not something I considered during this book writing process, but, boy and I glad to see them, so far. But even if I only get one star instead of five stars, this journey continues to lift my spirits. I hope you are inspired, uplifted and encouraged to soar.

Thanks, for stopping by.

 

 

NOSTALGIA PIECE

eddiegreenandgrandmanorma

I am feeling nostalgic today. With my first book signing for the biography I wrote about my father, Eddie Green, coming up on November, I have, of course, been thinking about Eddie and my mom, Norma. Through a second marriage Norma is also the mom of my three brothers and one sister, Nathaniel Lance (who has passed on), Brad, Brian and Donna. Through them (and me) she was also grandma Norma and great-grandma Norma. Mom passed away this month in  2010. Her birthday month is November. My brother Brad’s birthday is in October. So, I think I just figured out why I am nostalgic. Plus, November is BIG for me in another anonymous way but I’ll save that for another post.

Back to mom. I showed my youngest brother Brian this picture of Eddie and mom and he did not recognize the lady in that fur. Our family does not have a lot of pictures from 1946, and mom didn’t talk to much about those years. As you can see, those years were pretty good for Eddie and Norma.

While doing my research for the book I found an article in the Los Angeles California Eagle newspaper by J. T. Gipson in her “Notes from a Newsgirl” column, that “Eddie (Duffy’s Tavern) Green and wife, nee Norma Amato, are vacationing in the East. Norma plans to relieve New York of some of their latest creations”.

Such as this ensemble or these hats from 1946: womensfashion1940hats

In those days mom was always in the news. Before she married Eddie she had aspired to become an opera star. Here is what was printed in  another article in a 1944 Los Angeles California Eagle newspaper: “Keep your ears on Norma Amato’s delightful thrushing…she has the kind of voice you hear only in a dream”.

dreamscometrue

Together, she and Eddie liked to entertain at home. Jessie Mae Brown of the Los Angeles California Eagle reported in her column “What’s Doing in the Social Set” that “Television with all its newness will be the incentive for an exclusive soiree at the Eddie Green’s Second avenue home. After waiting several years in suspense for television, I look forward to this party with keen interest as well as pleasure.”

I found a picture of a 1946 television set. I don’t know if this was the same one or even the same day, but mom told me that Eddie cut a hole in the wall between the kitchen and the dining room and set the tv in the hole, leaving the ugly back of the set sticking out into the kitchen.tv1946

Eddie did not start out in life this way. He was born in an alley house in Baltimore (no sewage system and disease) to struggling parents. He ran away from home when he was nine and by the time he was seventeen he was working but still lived in an alley house on Ten Pin Alley (an actual alley listed on a map).

svf_b_streets_biddle_alley

Eddie worked his way up. He taught himself to read. He discovered what he liked to do and he determined to do it the best he knew how. My father was thirty years older than mom. By the time she met Eddie it was all about traveling, nightclubs, parties, dinners, she did not talk much about what she knew of Eddie’s early life. He took her to Baltimore to show her his old living situation. She met his daughter from a previous marriage. But it was necessary for me to do extensive research in order to write the biography Eddie Green The Rise of an Early 1900s Black American Entertainment Pioneer. And thank goodness I did because my father’s story radiated inspiration for me. I’ve heard that others have felt the same after reading the book.

My next post will be from my new, updated blog which will feature news of the book, purchasing and what not, and it will also feature reviews I have received (all wonderful so far!). Thank you so much for being a part of my journey here on this blog.

And thank you, for stopping by.

 

Keeping my eye on the Beauty of the World

millicent-and-eddie
Millicent Roberts receiving award from Eddie; with Miss Futter and Miss Graves.

Article in the Norfolk Journal and Guide: Some of Harlem’s most beautiful girls turned out for Eddie Green’s Second Annual “Night of Glamour”, last Thursday night at the Renaissance Casino when the popular comedian offered valuable prizes plus a movie contract with his Sepia Art Pictures Company. Eddie is standing next to the winner Millicent Roberts Miss Glamour.

 

As well as being a filmmaker, stage star, old time radio icon and composer, Eddie was also well-known for holding beauty contests, usually in Harlem, that featured beautiful Black women. He even put together the Miss Sepia America contest which was held at the 1939-40 World’s Fair in New York. There was a pavilion at the fair that showcased exhibits for and about Black people (though today it is difficult to find mention of this). 5814421775_46ea0e10b6_b

As I have mentioned in former posts Millicent (Miss Glamour) is still with us. She is a living testament to the fact of Black beauty contests. I don’t think we have those anymore.

My father believed in promoting Black people. Through beauty contests or in his movie studio and in his office. His letterhead from his movie studio read “Producing the best in Moving Pictures, of, by and with Negroes.” (We were negroes back in Eddie’s day and proud of it.)

Eddie possessed the ability to get along with people though, be they Black or White, men or women. It’s what helped propel him through his career as a comedian. It helped him work at the Apollo drilling white chorus girls for 45 weeks, and this was such a big deal it was written about in the local newspaper.

Lately, I have found it difficult to write upbeat posts because of the recent shootings of Black men. Eddie must have been extremely upset though back in the early 1900s. But he focused on the goals he wanted to achieve. He was a good husband to my mom. He was all-business when he was supposed to be. And he was a funny, if droll, comedian. People liked to see him coming. Eddie lived a good life through hellish times for Black people. Eddie lived through the depression, hellish times for everybody. And he just kept going.

I feel for all those who are losing loved ones to violence. And I know that positivity exists.

Thanx for stopping by and don’t forget to check out my book Eddie Green The Rise of an Early 1900s Black American Entertainment Pioneer

http://www.bearmanormedia.com

 

 

Scene 2 – Little Miss Fresh Mouth

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During the process of researching information on my father’s life for the biography I have written, I began to realize that not only would I learn interesting facts about my father during this research but that I would also learn new and interesting facts about those with whom he worked. As this writing process went on I found that the more I discovered, the more I discovered. And somehow the discoveries made in the latter part of my research matched up with the earlier discoveries.

For instance, in a 1940 Baltimore newspaper article, my father says that an important point in the making of any motion picture, but particularly in photographing Black actors, is an experienced cameraman, because of the wide variety of skin colors and tints to be found in the Black race. The article noted that Eddie said the cameraman he used most of the time was Dan Malcomes, a veteran when it comes to cameras.

In order to use this information in my book I began to research Dan Malcomes. I started this research in 2014. In 2015 I learned that a Don Malkames had worked as a cameraman back in 1939 for a Mr. Joseph Seiden of Seiden Cinema, located in Fort Lee, New Jersey, which is where movie-making was done before there was Hollywood. Mr. Malkames was the cinematographer on the movie Paradise In Harlem (1939) which was directed by Joseph Seiden.

My father, Eddie, also made a movie  that year (wrote, directed, produced and starred in) titled What Goes Up, in his movie studio in Fort Lee, New Jersey, Sepia Art Pictures.   Through more research I discovered that the cameraman that Eddie worked with for his promotional photos was in fact, Don Malkames, miss-printed in the newspaper as Dan Malcomes. A search on the Internet today will show a listing of the different spelling versions.

Two of the stars in Eddie’s movie What Goes Up were Bebe Mathews and Sydney Easton. Two of the performers in Paradise in Harlem were Bebe Mathews and Sydney Easton. What I find unsettling is that the Paradise movie can be found on the internet, but Eddie’s movie has disappeared.

That What Goes Up has not been found is unfortunate too, because in 2015 as some of you may know from an earlier post, I received an email from the granddaughter of a woman who was an actress in the movie. The actress’s name is Millicent Roberts and she is now ninety-nine years of age. She is one of the ladies who was picked up by a chauffer and driven to the set in New Jersey to rehearse and perform her part as “little miss fresh mouth.” She told her granddaughter that she remembers the White cameraman who took her promotional bathing suit pictures on the set. (Eddie’s movie set was all-black except for Don, on purpose.) Millicent says that the pictures “were glamourous, just like Hollywood photos.”

The one thing that Millicent, who lives on the East Coast, would like is to see the movie What Goes Up again. A few of our friends are endeavoring to discover the whereabouts of the physical copy of this movie.  Maybe you beautiful people out there could keep an eye out, also. The movie premiered at the Apollo in New York in 1939.

Millicent has seen the photographs that were taken of her but was never given copies. Thanks to the internet I found out Mr. Malkames’ relative Rick Malkames has followed in Don’s footsteps and currently is head of The Malkames Collection.  I was able to send an email but they have nothing in their archives.

Millicent and Eddie
Millicent and Eddie

Now that I have written Eddie’s biography, Millicent’s granddaughter has bought the book and reads portions of the book to her. She says her grandmother “is just beside herself(lol!!!)”.

I am going to end with this quote from Millicent’s granddaughter in regard to the book because I never expected to receive such a powerful response or such a wonderful compliment. Very positive!

“It (the book) is also an inside look at the resilience and fortitude of our brothers (Black Men) like Eddie -who were clearly brilliant, talented, and resourceful in a time when we (Blacks) were considered to be nothing of the sort! This book should be required reading in African American History courses in every College and University!”

BLACKARTMATTERS-A Good Man is Hard to Find

Out of necessity I am getting better and better at cutting and pasting on my posts and I have posted a GREAT link.

A while back I submitted a story to an online electronic magazine Unlikely Stories Mark V. Unlikely Stories Mark V is the new incarnation of the electronic magazine, Unlikely Stories, which has been published on the Web, more-or-less continually, since 1998 publishes poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction, especially firsthand accounts of sociopolitical activism. They publish galleries of visual art, music, spoken word, other forms of aural art, and audiovisual presentations.

Below is a link to the magazine. Once there scroll down till you see “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”, (the title of my article) By: Me. I wrote a good article but Unlikely Stories put a spin on it that you will love, I know I do.  Check it out and enjoy! The article begins thus:

Eddie Green, legendary filmmaker, star of movies and Broadway, Old Time Radio Icon and composer, was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1891 and died in Los Angeles, California in 1950. He achieved fame as an actor and comedian, and was well-known as an entrepreneur as the owner of two movie studios and a string of restaurants. As a composer of music, Eddie wrote over twenty songs. His first song “A Good Man is Hard to Find” written in 1917, is still being recorded almost one hundred years later.

http://www.unlikelystories.org/

Research in Black Culture-A Celebration

momwithfur (2)The latest good news is that the biography I have written about my father, Eddie Green, will now be featured in the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York.

The picture I have posted with Eddie and Mom (Norma) is in the Eddie Green Portrait Collection also at the Schomburg. I did not put this picture in the book because I do not own the photo. But I want to show it off here because these two look like they are enjoying the good life. Mom made her own hats back then. I don’t remember that fur coat but I do remember her fox fur stole. She kept it in that drawer that I wasn’t supposed to open.

If you have bought the book (thank you so much!!), you will see a picture of Eddie in a white suit and black tie, I was able to purchase a copy of the picture from the Schomburg and it works perfectly for my back cover.cropthisforpost (2)

As a filmmaker, movie and Broadway star and Old Time Radio Icon, Eddie was always sharp. He was a good business man. He was well-read. Eddie travelled with his books. He had his own library at the Hudson Theater in New York. They say a lot of those old time vaudeville actors read a lot of the classics in order to come up with ideas to incorporate into their funny skits, similar to a reference to Shakespeare’s Hamlet that was used in an old Three Stooges movie:

” Among the insane sights in this Stooges short is a burro wearing galoshes. The burro is named “Yorick,” and when it appears it was accidentally blown up, yes, we hear: “Alas, poor Yorick. We knew him well.”

Eddie was a comedian. A good comedian. He was funny, someone said he could not open his mouth without being funny. He didn’t mind acting funny, either.eddiegreensillyphotoas he did in his movie One Round Jones.

Over the time it took for me to write the book, I have had a number of people tell me that Eddie is looking down at me and smiling (even the lady who has my first consignment said it). I don’t know if this is so, but if it is he can now be proud that in 2016 both of our works are housed together in the same public access building in New York. I know I am proud. Thank you Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

And thank you, for stopping by and celebrating with me.

 

 

 

IF IT WAS NOT FOR EDWARD

myfamblyIf it wasn’t for Edward, I may not have written a book about my father.

My father’s birth name was Edward and he later changed it to Eddie. My grandson’s birth name is Edward (for reasons other than what one might think), and he later began to go by Eddie. The picture on this post is Melony (my gorgeous daughter), Edward (aka Eddie) and me, Grandma. Edward is about 24 in this picture and he was about six years old when I conceived the idea to write a book. This picture was taken about two years ago and my book has been published as of this past June.

My father, Eddie Green, died when I was a little child. I grew up with the knowledge that he had been “somebody” in the entertainment industry, but it had never been paramount in my mind. As a youngster I wanted to be an entertainer, I wanted to be a singer and entertain the world. When I thought I had said something funny, I would tell my mother it was because Eddie (the comedian) was my father. But I never wanted to write a book about my father.

I became aware as I got older that my father had been a successful man, as an actor, a composer, filmmaker, singer and Old Time Radio personality, especially as he was a Black man coming along in an era of major struggles for Black people trying to get into show business. Still, I did not consider writing a book. I was proud of the fact that my father had been in show business. I was proud of the fact that he wrote the song “A Good Man is Hard to Find”. I even heard Alberta Hunter singing the song on the Jazz radio station in Los Angeles in the 80s. Cool.

And then Melony had Edward. And then Edward began school, which meant homework. Nobody likes homework. Homework is hard. I think Edward is a genius now, but back then he had trouble with homework and when he was told to do his homework, he would say “I can’t”! Well, what grandma wants their grandkid to grow up thinking they can’t? So, I got the brilliant idea to use my father, his great-grandfather, as an example of what a person CAN do, no matter what. And so began the process of research.

Little did I know that Eddie’s career as an entertainer and as an entrepreneur was far greater than I had thought. His life story truly was inspiring. And could inspire other people struggling with the seeming difficulties in life. The fact that Eddie was a Black man born in 1891 who attained certain heights in what was seen as a White man’s world just made his story more awe-inspiring, to me. Being a modern Black woman, I had to get over my feelings of discomfort when I saw my father in black-face on stage on television,  I researched the issue and gained a better understanding of why. But the fact that my father is one of the first Black men to be  on the first RCA-NBC 1936 test demonstrations of television BLOWS me away. The man is on the internet today! He looks funny, but if it had not been for people like Eddie back then, Blacks would probably not be where they are today. If it had not been for people like Eddie, who rose against all odds, I would not have this story to tell to provide motivation to anyone who needs it.

If it had not been for Edward, my grandson, I may not have known that I could write a book. He told me after the book was written that “no matter what else happens, just remember that you wrote the book”.  (He is a genius) And that was the point. To write a book demonstrating a persons ability to achieve success in their endeavors, no matter what.

Wow, I was long-winded today. Hey, thanks for stopping by.

 

SUNDAY SPECIAL

meonradio yesterdayusaGet ready, get ready, get ready. I am following in my father’s footsteps. On Sunday, July 31, at 7:30PM, I am going to be interviewed on an internet radio station with regard to my new book! Eddie, my father, was an Old Time Radio icon who appeared for ten years on the Duffy’s Tavern radio show, as well as appearing on The Radio Hall of Fame, Stage Door Canteen and many others. In his own words he was “one who knows the radio business.” In a letter he wrote to a radio station back in 1938 he introduced himself like this: “I am known in big time radio from coast to coast.”

Well, I am not known from coast to coast, yet, but I am working on it. Actually, I take that back, I am in L. A. and I do have a follower in Maine. Anywho, this will be the second interview I have done with this radio program which is hosted by John and Larry Gassman and Walden Hughes. The first interview was before my book was published.  Please tune in and enjoy the show. Just go online and enter Yesterday USA (see above photo) and click on either Red or Blue.

I like sharing my book writing journey here on WP. I am still surprised that I have finished writing the book.

I have just received my copy and looking through it and seeing the pictures and the index and all the chapters put together is like receiving a present from someone.Eddie Green -Social Media

I suggest if you have a desire to put a story in book form, do it!

Thanx again, for stopping by.

 

Eddie Green The Rise of an Early 1900s Black American Entertainment Pioneer

Eddie Green -Social MediaOk, let’s see, how can I put this? I AM A PUBLISHED AUTHOR. Eddie Green The Rise of an Early 1900s Black American Entertainment Pioneer is now available for public consumption. Of course, I let family members know first and now I am announcing to my wonderful blogging family. Woo hoo!!!

On November 12, 2014 I wrote these next two paragraphs on my first post on my brand new laptop:

Bestsellng author, Dean Koontz said, “I really believe that everyone has a talent, ability or skill that he can mine to support himself and to succeed in life.”

I found this quote while doing some research for a book I will eventually complete.  I began my research in about 1998 because my then small grandson’s favorite words seemed to be “I can’t”.  Usually in regard to why he did not finish his homework.  His homework was always too hard.  I came up with the bright idea to enlighten him on what a person can accomplish by telling him about, and by writing a book for him about my father, his grandfather, who was a black man born in poverty in 1896 and who rose to prominence despite many obstacles.

Well, it is now 2016 and eventually has arrived. My original idea of writing a book was small. I mean, you know, you gather the information and type it up and you have a little book. And then you give him, your grandson, this little book. Once I began the research my knowledge of the true progression of my father’s life from poverty to prominence grew. I knew Eddie was a radio star, had written a song, had made a movie, had appeared in a movie. But since Eddie died when I was three and he had only been married to my mom for five years, I never really learned half of the things my father had accomplished. My little book grew.

One thing I discovered which I could not share with my mom because she had passed on by 2010, was that my father lied about his age. She thought Eddie had been born in 1896, but according to his Social Security Application from 1937, Eddie was actually born in 1891. So when my twenty-two year old mother married Eddie he was actually fifty-four, not forty-nine. I learned that not only had Eddie written one song “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”, he wrote twenty-nine songs. Not only did he make one movie, he made wrote, produced, directed and acted in five all-black cast movies. He had appeared on and co-hosted radio shows, he had appeared on Broadway and on and on and on. My little book became a BOOK. And the progression has been documented on this blog.

I have loved every minute of sharing my journey here through WP, and I am very happy that I have a loyal group of followers (which I acknowledged in my book). This journey is not over. I have the job of marketing to do. I will continue to post regarding progress, and I will continue to share other items of interest to keep the spark of inspiration going. Thank you all so much for being a part of this journey. Check me out at http://www.bearmanormedia.com.

and we have a Facebook site for the book:

https://www.facebook.com/EddieGreenBook/?view_public_for=1134428443290744

As always, Thanks, for stopping by, and Spread The Word!