Entertainment

Woman of Color as American Icons

0 Comments 23 March 2010

Woman of Color as American Icons

Glamour Magazine celebrates American icons with todays hottest celebrities. Included were Alicia Keys, Paula Patton, Chanel Iman, and America Ferrerah.

Paula Patton as Billy Holiday

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As an aspiring singer, Holiday suffered sexual abuse, struggled with a drug habit and encountered racism everywhere. But the late Lady Day—one of the first African American women to sing with an all-white orchestra—translated all of that pain into some of the most achingly personal songs ever recorded. (Download “Strange Fruit,” which she sang at her 1948 Carnegie Hall concert, and listen for yourself.)

“You can imagine that women at home hearing her songs on the radio felt her vocalizing their emotions and their struggles.”—Paula Patton, 33, of the upcoming drama Push, wearing Holiday’s trademark gardenia in her hair

Chanel Iman as Althea Gibson

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After years of playing segregated tennis, the late Althea Gibson tore down the color barrier of competition in 1950, when, at age 23, she became the first African American to compete in major U.S. championships—and, in 1957, the first to win Wimbledon. In her crisp whites, “the Jackie Robinson of tennis,” as she was known, won 11 major titles.

“She showed women…you can be sweaty, be gorgeous and do a great job.”—Chanel Iman, 19, cohost of MTV’s House of Style

America Ferrerah as Delores Huerta

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A fierce advocate for migrant farmers, Huerta cofounded, with César Chávez, what became the United Farm Workers of America. In 1975 she played a critical role in enacting policies that allowed workers to bargain for better wages and conditions. Today, at age 79, Huerta continues to be active—last year she campaigned for Hillary Clinton’s presidential run.

“She saw her own opinion and voice as [something as] powerful as any man’s.”—America Ferrera, 25, of ABC’s Ugly Betty, holding a sign that reads “strike” in Spanish

Alicia Keys as First Lady Michelle Obama

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Not only is Obama the first African American filling the position, but she’s already making best-dressed headlines for a style that ranges from couture to J.Crew. Raised in Chicago, Obama, 45, powered on to Princeton and Harvard Law School before beginning a career during which she met, mentored and married our current President. Hail to our newest smart, opinionated, chic First Lady!

“She has worked hard for everything she’s accomplished, and done so with grace and humility. So many women and girls can identify with her story.”—Alicia Keys, 28, whose most recent album is As I Am

Others included actress Lindsey Lohan as Madonna, Emma Rogers as actress Audrey Hepburn, actress Emma Stone as Carrie Bradshaw, and Hayden Panitiere as Amelia Earhart.

Hayden Panettiere as Amelia EarhartLindsay Lohan as MadonnaEmma Stone as Carrie BradshawEmma Roberts as Audrey Hepburn

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