Florence Mills a Pioneer of The Silver Screen

Florence Mills a Pioneer of The Silver Screen

Length: 656 words (1.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Florence Mills a Pioneer of The Silver Screen

Florence Mills never had a memorial in her own nation, but the tiny country of Grenada recently issued a stamp in her honor. It was part of a set as a tribute to pioneers of the silver screen. The stamp illustrated a poster from the Palace Theatre, the place to be for top vaudeville performances. Florence never actually made it to the big screen, but was the first black star, male or female, to headline at the Palace.
Florence was born in January of 1896 in the slums of Washington, DC. As the daughter of ex-slaves, she had it rough, but this girl had an ability that would soon show. She won a talent contest at age four, and by age seven she had made her professional debut. Two years later, she joined a vaudeville touring company. Since she was too young to do this, therefore it was not very long before she was arrested and put into an institution.
Soon after in 1905, Florence's family moved to Harlem, where she attended regular schooling. However, it was in Harlem where Florence joined her two older sisters in playing black vaudeville in local theatres as "The Mills Sisters".
In 1916, Florence moved to Chicago where she became a member of the "Panama Trio" alongside Bricktop and Cora Green. They played at the Panama Café along with jazz notables Alberta Hunter, Glover Compton, and Mezz Mezzrow. Another admirer of the trio was the legendary Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, who gave personal tap lessons to Florence. About one year later, the Panama Café was shut down by the police due to a shooting scandal. The trio played on at other local venues for a short time until they broke up in 1918. Florence then moved on to join a very successful black group called the "Tennessee Ten".
After several years with the "Tennessee Ten", Florence joined a new show called "Dixie to Broadway" in 1924. With her widely recognized theme song, "I'm a Little Blackbird Looking for a Bluebird", the show was a phenomenal success. In June of 1925, Florence received vaudeville's highest honor. She was the star attraction at the Palace Theatre. By heading the bill at the Palace, she became the first black performer to have that honor.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Florence Mills a Pioneer of The Silver Screen." 123HelpMe.com. 25 Feb 2020

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Silver’s Remaking Eden and the Silver Screen Essay

- Silver’s Remaking Eden and the Silver Screen In Remaking Eden, Lee M. Silver asks three central questions: Who controls life. What counts as life. And what will human life look like in the future. The question Silver does not ask is whether or not human life as we now know and define it will change. Silver sees the advance of genetic engineering as inevitable, due to consumer demand for it as a technology and the unrelenting curiosity of scientists. Power resides in science, according to Silver, and that power is “enormous.” In the closing chapter to Remaking Eden, entitled “Tomorrow’s Children,” he recounts how “a single eccentric scientist named Kary Mullis” obliterated all “preconceived...   [tags: Lee M. Silver]

Research Papers
1206 words (3.4 pages)

Florence Nightingale : A Grade A Bitch Essay

- Florence Nightingale: A Grade A Bitch Florence Nightingale paved the way for nursing as a respected profession. Although her legacy is somewhat debated, it is indisputable that without her, modern nursing would look significantly different than it does today. Miss Nightingale felt a calling to serve mankind through the medical profession.. Her family did not support her decision. Their hesitance stemmed from the fact that in Victorian England nurses were known to be drunks and engage in immoral behavior (Cohen, 1984, p.128)....   [tags: Nursing, Medicine, Florence Nightingale, Patient]

Research Papers
1635 words (4.7 pages)

Textile Mills: Their Innovation and Impact on Society Essay

- When our group found out that this year’s History Day topic was “impact and innovation” we had an epiphany to exemplify what impacted people’s lives the most, so we concluded to do our on project on the innovation in the textile industry and impact of the textile mills. The textile mills provided people with a cheap source of cloth that had an impact on every person’s lives during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In order to get our information on the innovation and impact of the textile mills, as a group we gathered information from various places and did extensive research on our topic....   [tags: textile mills, history, ]

Research Papers
502 words (1.4 pages)

Is Florence Nightingale Changed The Original Image Of Nursing Essay

- Since the beginning of nursing, there has always been a negative connotation about nurses. Nurses give their life to their career and typically put their patients’ health before their own. Without nurses, patients would not have anyone to help them overcome their fears, advocate for those who cannot speak up, or promote health education. With all of this in mind, nurses should not have to face the false nurse image that continues to be prevalent in this country. Historically, the nursing image was thought of as a woman’s job....   [tags: Nursing, Florence Nightingale, Nurse]

Research Papers
875 words (2.5 pages)

Essay On Florence Nightingale

- Florence Nightingale is an important figure in nursing. Her caring nature, and love for people around her, motivated her to improve the nursing profession. She wanted to accomplish much more than what her family had planned for her. Her intelligence and hardworking attitude made it possible to accomplish all that she did throughout her life. Florence Nightingale was born on May 12, 1820 in Florence Italy. Her parents, William and Frances Nightingale, named her after the city of her birth. Her older sister, Parthenope, was also named after the city she was born in (“Florence Nightingale Biography.”)....   [tags: Florence Nightingale, Nursing, Nurse, Florence]

Research Papers
1484 words (4.2 pages)

The Silver Kiss by Annette Curtis Klause Essay

- The Silver Kiss by Annette Curtis Klause This Book seems to be quite current; however I would say that it more than likely took place during the 90's. There are many facts supporting my conclusion such as their knowledge of Cancer, the type of cars driven, the public transportation, and the descriptions of the buildings and stores in their town. The setting is important because Simon is from a different time....   [tags: Klause Silver Kiss]

Free Essays
1193 words (3.4 pages)

Florence Nightingale Essay

- "Nursing is an art: and if it is to be made an art, it requires an exclusive devotion as hard a preparation, as any painter's or sculptor's work; for what is the having to do with dead canvas or dead marble, compared with having to do with the living body, the temple of God's spirit. It is one of the Fine Arts: I had almost said, the finest of Fine Arts." (Florence Nightingale) Who was Florence Nightingale. Some knew her as the “Lady with the Lamp”, in view of the fact that she carried around a lamp as she visited her patients during the night hours....   [tags: nursing, Florence, hospitals, nurses]

Research Papers
1240 words (3.5 pages)

Marx And Mills Essay

- Marx And Mills John Stuart Mill suggests that a person’s ethical decision-making process should be based solely upon the amount of happiness that the person can receive. Although Mill fully justifies himself, his approach lacks certain criteria for which happiness can be considered. Happiness should be judged, not only by pleasure, but by pain as well. This paper will examine Mill’s position on happiness, and the reasoning behind it. Showing where there are agreements and where there are disagreements will critique the theory of Utilitarianism....   [tags: Marx Mills Philosophy Philosophical Essays]

Research Papers
1189 words (3.4 pages)

Essay on Silver-Haired Bats

- Silver-Haired Bats Bats are typically categorized into two main groups; megachiroptera (Old World Bats) and microchiroptera (Old and New World). The silver-haired bat, scientifically known as the Lasionycteris noctivagons, is a member of the microchiroptera group. Further classification places the silver-haired bat into the animalia kingdom (animals), the phylum chordate (vertebrates), the mammalian class (mammals), the order chiroptera (bats), and the Vespertilionidae family (vespertilionid bats) (Silver)....   [tags: Animal Silver Haired Bat]

Research Papers
1871 words (5.3 pages)

Essay on Florence Nightingale

- Florence Nightingale Florence Nightingale was born in Florence, Italy. Her parents named her after the city she was born in. She was born on May 12,1980, she was raised mostly in Derbyshire England. Many people when they hear Florence Nightingale think about her as a nurse and for her fight for better hospital care. Florence did a lot more in her life than achieve better hospital conditions, and become a nurse....   [tags: Biography Florence Nightingale]

Research Papers
1558 words (4.5 pages)

In 1926, Florence made a concert appearance at New York's Aeolian Hall, singing four pieces specially written for her by her friend, William Grant, an African American classical composer. The show, "Blackbirds", was conducted by Eugene Goossens in front of a distinguished audience that included Toscaninni and George Gershwin. This was Florence's farewell to her friends and supporters before departing for France, England, and international stardom. "Blackbirds" was a huge success overseas.
In April 1927 "Blackbirds" reached its 250th performance, and the strain of two shows per day plus matinees and charity benefits took a heavy toll on Florence. By October of that year she was in a hospital bed with an appendicitis ailment that was beyond repair. Knowing she was dying, Florence sang songs to cheer her caretakers. On November 1, 1927, Florence said her last words, "I don't want anyone to cry when I die.
I just want to make people happy." Five days later Harlem saw the largest funeral it had ever seen.
Florence Mills was a world-class dancer at age 5. She was skilled in all varieties of jazz and tap dance, and was especially renowned for her acrobatic dancing style. Some of the highest enthusiasm for Florence's dancing came from the experts of classical dance and ballet. They understood that her jazz dancing was art of the highest form.

What others had to say about Florence Mills
"What hit me about Twinkle [Davis], Alberta [Hunter], and another fine singer in the
[Panama Café] named Florence Mills, was their grace and their dignified, relaxed attitude. Florence, petite and demure, just stood at ease and sang like a hummingbird."
~Mezz Mezzrow (jazz musician)

"And Florence Mills, who died very young, is, after all these years, a great person in the
memory of all who ever saw her. . .When she sang, the whole of her person was engaged so that even if I cannot remember her voice, I am still under the spell of her singing."
~Gilbert Seldes (1920s art critic and writer)

"Florence Mills became just as big a star as Bessie [Smith] but she was the opposite. Shewas a hummingbird, and dainty and lovely. Her little voice was as sweet as Bessie's was
rough, and it was like a cello."
~Alberta Hunter (blues singer)

"In her small throat she hides all manner of funny little sounds that flutter out like sparrows from an inexhaustible nest."
~Dudley Nicholls (American drama critic)

The memory of Florence Mills, as well as that of Bert Williams, is held in the form of the Flo-Bert awards. These prizes honor the outstanding figures in the field of tap dance. Delilah Jackson, a historian and researcher of black entertainers founded Flo-Bert Ltd. in 1989. Flo-Bert is both the organizations name and its annual award for life achievement in performing, teaching, or supporting the art of tap dance.


Kislan, Richard. The Musical: A Look at the American Musical Theater. Englewood
Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1980.
Return to 123HelpMe.com