The Black Pinup Afro Antics Black Pinup Models and Vintage Sleaze from the Racist Past
Want to try a Google search which will turn up virtually empty? "Black Pinup" Let's face it folks...racism was so pervasive during the vintage sleaze years, it was almost impossible to find a sexy shot of a sister!
Reasons? Tons. During the 1950s and 1960s African-Americans were not only seen as second class citizens, the white majority didn't even like to acknowledge that they existed, far less that they might have anything resembling a sex drive. The phrase "Black is Beautiful" which was taken up by African-American advocates came along late in the 1960s...before then, the white society hardly appreciated their beauty and even the race itself wasn't too sure. Trust me...you are beautiful. Damn beautiful. James Brown was "Black and Proud" to convince his race of just that... and although you can't find them, there were a few sleazy pioneers who knew it. Scarce few.
NOTE: THE BOOK "SECRET OF THE BLACK PINUP is now available as a tablet book for iPad too! Order or Preview HERE
Shopkeepers, particularly in the south, didn't really even want black customers stopping in, much less browsing the smut. And since second-class citizens had second class disposable income, they couldn't spend much on the top-row magazines anyway.
The first Black Playboy centerfold wasn't until 1969 (!) this despite Hugh Hefner being a big civil rights advocate! Do you feel ashamed yet? Pinups were featured regularly in the "mainstream" Black publications of Jet, Ebony, Hue and such, but for the most part naked Black women were taboo, except in horrible "risque" postcards which were "satire" and National Geographic. A Black model? Forget it! It also wasn't until 1969 that Life Magazine had an article called "Black Models Take Center Stage" as odd as that seems today.
As we will see in further installments of "Afro-Antics" not only did the tiny African-American upper-class discourage Black smut (it was not "uplifting" to the race) but the scant few black smut rags that were produced were aimed not at a Black market, but at white consumers with a Black fetish! (Sorta like Thomas Jefferson) What a world.
By the way, the first famous Black porno model? 1984. One Jeannie Pepper. Heck, by then the sexual revolution was already over!
Pervs who collect it flock to Black pinups and Black smut today, but that certainly was not the case in the 1950s. For that reason, Vintage Sleaze is going to work extra hard to make up for the racism of the past. Both above ground (like Jive and Sepia) and way below ground (The rare examples shown here) Vintage Sleaze aims to make up for the oversight. We won't take the easy route either. No cribs from the glut of "Black Tail, Black Bottoms, Black Gold, Brown Sugar and Players" crud of today...REAL vintage sleaze. Dames in their undies.
Shown below is the first..Tan "N" Terrific. A great title, but what a crappy magazine. I think it only lasted for two issues, this being the second. With a cover like this, I can see why. I suspect Tan "N" Terrific was an early Lenny Burtman release, which would place it around 1962. There is no publisher indicated. There is, however, one advertisement, on the inside last page, for a publication from Connoisseur Publications in Cleveland, Ohio...which could mean a Ruben Sturman connection?
Any more information out there?
Tan "N" Terrific Vintage Sleaze Digest circa 1962 Collection Victor Minx.
Jive Magazine February 1962 Collection Victor Minx
Dull Tool Dim Bulb / Vintage Sleaze Books HERE
NOTE: Kindly reader has provided the following update. Thanks! "Tan n Terrific was distributed by WWNC (World Wide News Company), which is a Sturman company." and points out the WWNC logo top right. You can just make it out if you click to enlarge.