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Black History Captured on Film: Betty Boop – The Cartoon Creation that Originated from a Black Jazz Queen Ester Jones

by Betti Halsell

The Complex Origin Story of a Cartoon Icon, Leads to the Beauty and Talent of a Black Woman.

One of America’s most recognizable TV vixens came from the land of animation, Betty Boop is a beloved cartoon icon. Looking deep within her history, one can trace her back to the sultry room of Harlem’s Cotton Club, Jazz singer Ester Jones, nicked named “Baby Ester” inspired a vibe of grown sex appeal and unique song pattern.

It was a time of great movement and innovation within the Black community, the Harlem Renaissance era was the central hub for displaying a new sense of creative awakening in African Americans. From 1910 to the mid-1930s, the Harlem neighborhood in New York City was a “cultural mecca,” witnessing an explosion of Black art and ingenious sound of music.

The Cotton Club was a beacon for elite Black entertainers, performances from the most prominent Blues and Jazz artists performed at the gangster-owned night club. Ester Jones was a regular cabaret act, enchanting crowds with her scats, ‘Boo-Boo-Boo-Boo -Doo-Doo.’

American Singer and actress, Helen Kane caught one of Jones’ shows, and she was “inspired” by the cabaret artistry, aesthetic, and scats. Kane updated her style and singing pattern; one can see the influence in Kane’s hit single “I wanna be loved by you,” The lyrics say the following.

” I wanna be loved by you, just you
And nobody else but you
I wanna be loved by you, alone!
Boop-boop-a-doop!… “

The animation studio house, Fleischer Studios, created a character that resembled Kane. They included “boop-boop-a-doop” as the catchphrase for their animated “it girl,” Betty Boop. As Kane was losing popularity, she grew envious of the rising cartoon starlet. Kane came after Fleischer Studios with a $250,000 ( about $3.8 million in 2020) lawsuit for infringement of character.

The Lawsuit went on for two years until evidence stemming from the Cotton Club displayed Jones as the original “Boop” girl. However, once the case was over, there Jones was not given her respected dues for the character, she was assumed to be dead or in France at the time. (suspicious)

Betty Boop inspires fashion to this day, her distinct look originates from a Jazz queen that played in one of the most iconic clubs in African American history. Although exposed for the wrong reasons, Baby Ester has been recognized in court as the original inspiration for Betty Boop, during a time of segregation and limited rights in the Black Community. Betty Boop symbolizes Black women being the authentic image of attraction and beauty.

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Film

‘The Man From Toronto’ Trailer: Kevin Hart and Woody Harrelson Star In Action-Packed Comedy

Kevin Hart and Woody Harrelson star in Netflix’s upcoming action-packed comedy dropping on Netflix on June 24.

A case of mistaken identity arises after a screw-up sales consultant and the world’s deadliest assassin—known only as The Man from Toronto— run into each other at a holiday rental.

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‘Bid For Love’: BET Announces Premiere Date and Releases Official Trailer

BET debuted the trailer for its upcoming original drama Bid For Love, set for a June release.

The cast includes Blue Kimble (Ruthless), Dawn Halfkenny (Saints & Sinners), Adrian Lockett (The Oval), Jermel Howard (BMF), Tami Roman (The Family Business), Nikki Dixon (First Christmas), Ptosha Storey (The Oval), Jayda Cheaves and Kwaylon Rogers.

‘Bid For Love’ cast

Directed by Arthur Muhammad (Carter High), the story follows Sasha (Halfkenny) as she navigates life following a prison release. After serving time for her former drug trafficking boyfriend Memphis (Kimble), Sasha falls in love with Malik (Lockett), a generous and successful real estate entrepreneur. The man’s motives for Sasha, however, are far from good. Malik slowly attempts to alienate her from family and friends as he secretly plots against her.

Bid For Love is produced by Lawainna Patterson, London Williams, Shauna D. Balfour, and Christina Cooper. The film will air on BET Her and BET+ on June 23. Watch the official trailer below.

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Martin Reunion First Look Trailer

Martin reunion

BET+ debuted the first look trailer for its highly-anticipated Martin reunion. Three decades later, the cast is reuniting for a special episode dropping on June 16.

Participating stars include Martin Lawrence, Tisha Campbell, Tichina Arnold, and Carl Anthony Payne II.

The trailer opens with a dedication to Thomas Mikal Ford, who played Tommy in the series. The actor sadly passed away in 2016 from an operation complication. He was 52.

Hosted by comedian Affion Crockett, the special will focus on the show’s origin and evolution. In addition, it will feature interviews with the surviving cast, original directors, special musical performances, and behind-the-scenes must-sees.

Martin, which premiered in 1992, starred Lawrence – who played various characters, Campbell as Martin’s girlfriend and later his wife, Gina; Arnold as Gina’s best friend, Pam; and Martin’s two best friends, Cole (Payne) and Tommy (played by the late Thomas Ford). The series concluded with season five due to the tensions between the two main cast members. People reported that Campbell sued Lawrence for “repeated and escalating sexual harassment, sexual battery, verbal abuse, and related threats” in 1997. The two later reconciled, with Campbell announcing in 2020 that she was “so glad that we’re in a good place right now.”

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