Do you remember when guys used to wear feather earrings? I do. In fact, I remember an old hip-hop movie that helped made feather earrings so popular. It was called Breakin2 (1984)/Electric Boogalo. One of the actors in the movie, Adolfo Quinones played a character named B-boy Bozo (or something like that). Quinones character wore all kinds of feather earrings. Actually his whole style was very different and unique from all the other actors in the movie. The movie has changed 80’s fashion in such a huge way; if you pay very close attention to the movie, you’ll notice that Adolfo’s style of dress appear in Michael Jackson’s Bad video. I also remember guys wearing ear cuff links too. Ear cuff links were more like ornaments than earrings. They only sold them as singles in stead of pairs. I was not fond of those ear cuff links, mostly because they hurt like bloody murder . They always felt like there were coming off my ear, and I would continue to squeeze and the edges of the earring wind up digging my skin, causing bruises. At that point, I realize it was just best to pierce my ears. The last really popular earrings I remember was the “T-spoon” earrings. Many High schools band these earrings because a lot of people used them to snort coke. So the earrings made you an easy target whether you were on drugs or not.
© 2013 Yogi / VintageNewscast.com
Yes sexy *ss 70’s martial arts actor James Milton Kelly, also known as Jim Kelly has died a few days ago at the age of 67. Yup, it’s true. Many of you who are hardcore martial arts, and or blaxploitation fans should be familiar with Jim Kelly already. I didn’t even realize he died until a friend told me. Sigh. Not only did I think he was really handsome growing up; I also admired him because he was the only person of color (that I’ve seen/can remember) doing serious martial arts on film as part of his career. Well, at least as close to martial arts as he’d get. His style of fighting on film was more like, “trying not to get bruised for the ladies” type of fighting. However, I heard he used to like to do his own stunts, and film directors would normally cringe at the thought of a lead actor doing his or her stunts. I guess at the suggestions of most directors, the result of avoiding these stunts, gave Jim the appearance that he didn’t want to really fight in many of the films he made. Unfortunately, this was especially true for blaxploitation film makers at the time. Although blaxploitation was huge in the 70’s, it wasn’t big enough to cover all the liability costs that can incur. Because Kelly performed most of his martial arts in blaxploitation movies, it kinda left many fans to interpret some of his acting as, pretty boy; yet masculine; karate/street fighter mixed; don’t want to injure himself type of fight.
Many of you also may remember him from his VERY short appearance in “Enter The Dragon (1973)”. I gotta say, I was disappointed when they killed him off so quickly in the movie, but then again, Bruce Lee was the star of the movie . Then again, even Angela Mao had such a small part in the movie too, I didn’t even know she was in it, until one day I saw the cast names, and I had to watch the movie again. Now, you guys know how much I love Angela Mao, she had to have had a REALLY small part for me to watch the movie again. LOL. John Saxon was also a big name in the movie, you may remember him from a couple of appearances on “The Bionic Woman”. “Enter The Dragon” is one of THE classic movies of all times, I think. But I do think it would have been an even bigger hit, if Bruce would have let Jim, Angela, and John fight just as hard as he did in the movie. In retrospect, I now think Bruce was only using their names to draw people to see the movie, just thought he made a big mistake by not capitalizing on their martial arts skills. Granted, Jim Kelly was no were near as good as Bruce, in terms of martial arts ability, but it would have made the movie all the more exciting .
From what I’ve read, Jim Kelly’s wife said that the cause of his death was cancer, however, she did not get in to more detail than that. Although Jim did not have a long filmography, he did make big contributions (along with many others) to the martial arts film community, and helped make martial arts the popular art form it is today. Jim Kelly is also best known for “The Tattoo Connection (1978)”, “Black Belt Jones (1974)”, and “Black Samurai(1977)”. He will be missed.
© 2013 Yogi / Vintagenewscast.com
Growing up in the mid seventies, I remember hair being one of the most important topics in black community. As a young kid, I was consistently told “boy, you got good hair; were you’re family from?” It was funny because another big thing I remember growing up was that, if you were considered to have “good hair”, it was then immediately assumed you had “Cherokee Indian” in your family (especially if you had naturally curly or wavy hair) ROTF! I remember being in grandma’s kitchen, and seeing for the first time, my aunt sporting a full on afro. I was such in awe, because I couldn’t believe how it was possible that one human being could get her hair so perfect! I mean, there was absolutely no imperfection with my aunt’s afro. No swerves, no dents, no loose strands, no nothing! It was just amazing to see. I realized then just how important having good hair really was to black folk in the 70’s. As I got older I also recognized something else, that the good hair/bad hair mentality further perpetuated the light skin/dark skin social issues we had at the time, which continued to about the mid 80’s I think. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve always had these issues, but the good hair/bad hair seemed to have added a more complex level, the the already complex issue of light and dark skin. At one time, light skin and dark skin people were damn near segregated amongst each other. Everybody wanted a light skinned person, because there were seen as most likely to be educated and better looking. The only exception to that rule, is if you were a dark skinned person with good hair. I am not making this stuff up. All of my young readers, ask your parents, and grand parents, they will tell you.
I really hated this strong emphasis on hair a lot because, I guess ’cause I was a young kid, women in particular always had this thing where they MUST touch your hair to see how good it was! It was like women had this unofficial “good hair/bad hair test mechanism” using their four fingers. I’m not sure if it was different for girls, but speaking as a young boy, women (often times without even permission; it was like a calling) would proceed to dip their middle finger in my scalp, and work their way from the back to the front of my head. If their fingers could glide through my hair without finding any knots in my hair, I was deemed as having good hair LOL. Hair was so important back then that, you could party all night, go directly to work, smell funky as hell from all the dancing (Right Guard spray was huge in the seventies, and it made sweaty arms smell worse when an extra layer was applied.. LOL), but most did not care, so long as they’re hair and the rest of your appearance looked good, they were good.
I remember grandma’s house would to stay smelling of hot curling iron’s, hot combs, and Hot pics. I guess even today hair is still just as important. However, I think the difference today is, when a person sees someone with nice hair, they usually look at the whole package now, rather then using the hair to predict or prejudge someone’s intellectual, genetic, or even how successful they may be, solely on the basis of hair.
© 2013 Yogi / VintageNewscast.com
“The Negro Digest” was first published during WW2 around 1942-43 by John H. Johnson. He was born in 1918 and died around 2005. Johnson was the son of 2 slaves, and eventually grew up to be the founder of both Jet & Ebony Magazines, as well as Fashion Fair. What’s interesting is that, I read somewhere that he repeated the 8th grade, and this was not because he was left back, but because there were no negro high school were he was living at the time. Who would have ever thought that his publishing company, would become the number one African American publishing company in the world! They say he was most remembered for his 1955 decision to publish pictures of Emmett Till’s open casket. For those who do not know, Emmett was a 14 year old boy who was visiting Mississippi to see some relatives. A Caucasian woman accused Emmett of whistling at her (which was a big no no at that time), and as a result, he was beaten beyond recognition by the KKK (if I am not mistaken). If you want to read more on Emmett (warning… photo is graphic! However, it is the unfortunate truth of what it was to be black in the not so long ago 1950’s) click here.