I read the AP's Big Story blog a lot for my job and last week, I found a great little bit of history I wanted to share. They ran a feature about Ophelia DeVore, a Georgia model turned businesswoman who wanted to change how black Americans were perceived and groom, often literally, for success.
DeVore's eclectic career spanned more than six decades, beginning as a model at 16 and continuing into her 90s today as the owner of a newspaper in Georgia. Along the way, she opened one of the first modeling agencies for black models, established a charm school for black women to present themselves more effectively and launched a cosmetics line for darker complexions.
|Stunning. Also, I have similar earrings from the 50s|
She and her modeling agency helped create celebrities like Richard Roundtree, Cicely Tyson and Diahann Carroll. Now, a collection of her papers, from newspaper collections to letters from celebrities, programs, anything you can imagine, is being donated to Emory University. I love this highlight from a telegram DeVore got from Lena Horne in the early 80s that said "It is true that you knew how beautiful black can be before the concept became commercial. More significantly, you did something about it."
Her story is so inspiring; she went from being one of nine children in the backwoods of South Carolina to doing all of this. She seems like an incredible lady and I'm glad her story is getting more attention.