The Black Marilyn Monroe: Stunning Pics of Joyce Bryant Taken by Carl Van Vechten in 1953

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Called the “Black Marilyn Monroe” and “The Bronze Blond Bombshell,” Joyce Bryant (born 1928) is an African-American singer and actress who achieved fame in the late 1940s and early 1950s as a theater and nightclub performer.

In 1952, Bryant became the first black entertainer to perform at a Miami Beach hotel. Also in 1954, she became one of the first black singers to perform at the Casino Royal in Washington, D.C.

Bryant began wearing her signature hair color after discovering that she would be sharing a stage with Josephine Baker. Not wanting to be upstaged, she doused it with silver radiator paint.

After becoming weary of the industry, Bryant initially ended her career in 1955 when she enrolled in a Seventh Day Adventist College in Alabama. Though in the 1960s, she toured internationally with the New York City Opera, and in the 1980s, she returned to jazz music and became a vocal instructor.

These stunning pics of Joyce Bryant were taken by photographer Carl Van Vechten on May 28, 1953.

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