Bert Williams. You wouldn't know it to look at this picture, but Williams was one of the first, wealthiest and most famous black comedians of his day. Booker T. Washington wrote of Williams: "He has done more for our race than I have. He has smiled his way into people's hearts; I have been obliged to fight my way." And WC Fields said of him, "the funniest man I ever saw – and the saddest man I ever knew."
Redd Foxx and Nina Simone chilling in 1959. They were shot by G. Marshall Wilson (1906-1998), who was a staff photographer for EBONY for 33 years. In other news, this photo will be hanging on my wall in the near future
From left: Comedian George Kirby, Sidney Poitier, singer Gloria Lynne, Langston Hughes, Harry Belafonte, singer Joe Williams, Diahann Carroll, Nipsey Russell, Paula Kelly and, yes, Duke Ellington, 1966.