This biography reveals the lost history of the life of the 1920s Black female international superstar. Mills was lionized by the crowned heads in Europe and opened doors for generations of Black female stars from Lena Horne to Diana Ross. Although her career and shows changed the nature of Black entertainment, and thereby the wider American popular culture, she was largely forgotten in later years. Anyone who wants to understand the history of Black entertainment from Bert Williams to Michael Jackson and, by implication, the history of American popular culture, needs to understand the ways in which Florence Mills changed the rules forever.
Bill Egan is an Irish-born citizen of Australia and has pursued a lifelong interest in jazz and African American culture.
Chapter 1 Dedication Chapter 2 Acknowledgments Chapter 3 Editor's Foreword Chapter 4 Preface Chapter 5 Introduction Chapter 6 Abbreviations Chapter 7 1. Young Florence Chapter 8 2. Out in the World Chapter 9 3. The Rocky Road to Fame Chapter 10 4. Shufflin' to the Top Chapter 11 5. Transatlatic Star Chapter 12 6. Dixie Dreams Chapter 13 7. The Great White Way Chapter 14 8. A Blackbird Takes Wing Chapter 15 9. Looking for a Bluebird in Europe Chapter 16 10. Black Birds of 1927 Chapter 17 11. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot Chapter 18 12. Bye Bye Blackbird Chapter 19 13. Florence Mills: A Reappraisal Chapter 20 Appendix 1: Black Beauty Chapter 21 Appendix 2: Other Commemorative Items Chapter 22 Bibliography Chapter 23 Index Chapter 24 About the Author