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The Black Pinups #7 TAN N' TERRIFIC REUBEN STURMAN GOES BLACK Afro Antics Series on Vintage Sleaze Number SEVEN

Women of Color from...
By Jim Linderman

I am guessing Tan N' Terrific was the very first smut periodical devoted solely to African-American women. Digest form, that is 6" x 8", and produced by Reuben Sturman's WWNC World Wide News Corporation circa 1965.

Reuben Sturman is a controversial figure long after his death, and I am certainly not going to laud him. Porn to him was pure product and generally a product lacking any class. He had absolutely nothing to do with erotic art unless there was a buck in it...so he must have been convinced there was a market to support a Black sleaze digest. Or maybe Leonard Burtman did...at some point Sturman (based in Ohio) was distributing Burtman's product (based in New York) and one of the photographers here is credited as "Len Barton" who happens to have Burtman's initials. I'm not sure...but the magazine is a fascinating little artifact.

I have heard there is a major motion picture based on Reuben Sturman entitled "Rube" in production. It will be interesting if THEY laud him. By the Mid-1960s he was probably the largest distributor of smut in the world, with some questionable connections to crime families, though he always denied it and to some he is a freedom of the press kind of folk hero. That is a big leap.

During the 1960s when these came out (there is no date) the racist past, in fact a VERY recent past makes Tan N' Terrific a milestone of sorts, but certainly not the kind of progress civil rights leaders advocated. These are not Jet Pinups or the beauty work of Howard Morehead by any means. Progress of an ill-sort! Soft-core but sleazy to the core...this little rag prefigured "Black Tail" and the other real African-American porno of the 1970s and beyond.

I prefer then to think of them as little historical relics. They are soft-core after all, ony breasts were exposed. I believe only three issues were published, but as soon as I write something like that a number 4 turns up.

Black Pinups Afro-Antics is a regular feature of Vintage Sleaze the Blog, this is the number 7 entry. The goal of the series is to tell stories and present a history neglected for too long...the Black Pinup.

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