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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 & Television

Meghan Markle To Release Her Debut Children’s Book

The soon-to-be mother of two will also narrate the audiobook version

The actress-turned-duchess is adding a new title to her post-royal résumé. Markle is releasing her debut children’s book, The Bench.

Inspired by her husband Prince Harry and baby Archie, the book will reportedly focus on the special bond between a father and son, viewed through a mother’s eyes.

The Bench started as a poem I wrote for my husband on Father’s Day, the month after Archie was born,” the new author shared in a statement. “That poem became this story. Christian layered in beautiful and ethereal watercolor illustrations that capture the warmth, joy, and comfort of the relationship between fathers and sons from all walks of life; this representation was particularly important to me, and Christian and I worked closely to depict this special bond through an inclusive lens. My hope is that The Bench resonates with every family, no matter the makeup, as much as it does with mine.”

Published by Random House Children’s Books, the book is illustrated by award-winning artist Christian Robinson.

The Bench will be published on June 8.

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Film & Television

‘Lupin’ Part 2: Release Date, First Look Photos & Trailer

The French heist drama returns with five new episodes

Netflix recently released the first look images from Lupin season 2. The photos give viewers a glance at the upcoming episodes, set to release on Netflix, reportedly, in summer 2021.

The French heist drama stars Omar Sy as Assane Diop, a man inspired by the life and dealings of a fictional character, a thief named Arsène Lupin. The series follows Assane’s quest to expose the wealthy and powerful Pellegrini family after its patriarch, Hubert, framed Assane’s father, who later ended up dead in jail. Lupin also focuses on Assane’s relationship with his son and his ex-wife as he tries to salvage it while executing his mission.

Here are the first look images for part 2.

According to Netflix’s data, Lupin part 1 was the most-watched French original series on the platform. Seventy million households reportedly viewed the show in the first four weeks of its release.

Lupin Part 2 doesn’t have an official release date yet, but it’s expected to premiere this summer. Watch the official teaser below.

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Film & Television

Will Smith’s Body Transformation Will Be Documented In A New Youtube Series

Will Smith broke the internet earlier this week by posting a picture that some would consider unflattering and others could very much relate to. The caption read, “I’m gonna be real wit yall – I’m in the worst shape of my life.”

Looking at the shared image, from Smith’s outfit to his physique, one could assume that the I am Legend actor was simply sharing the outcome of his quarantine lifestyle.

Earlier today, however, in another social media post, Smith revealed that the image was just a teaser of what’s to come.

It turns out the actor is teaming up with YouTube for a fitness and wellness series intended to document the 52-year-old’s journey.

“This is the body that carried me through an entire pandemic and countless days grazing thru the pantry,” he captioned his latest post. “I love this body, but I wanna FEEL better. No more midnight muffins…this is it! Imma get in the BEST SHAPE OF MY LIFE!!!!!”

No further details were disclosed as of yet. We can’t wait to follow this transformation journey!

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