American Cocktail: A "Colored Girl" in the World by Anita Reynolds, Visit Amazon's Howard M. Miller Page, search

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By Anita Reynolds, Visit Amazon's Howard M. Miller Page, search results, Learn about Author Central, Howard M. Miller, , George Hutchinson, Patricia Williams, Jean L. Krauklin

This is the rollicking, never-before-published memoir of a desirable girl with an uncanny knack for being within the correct position within the best occasions. Of racially combined background, Anita Reynolds used to be proudly African American yet usually handed for Indian, Mexican, or Creole. Actress, dancer, version, literary critic, psychologist, yet particularly free-spirited provocateur, she was once, as her Parisian associates nicknamed her, an "American cocktail."

one of many first black stars of the silent period, she seemed in Hollywood videos with Rudolph Valentino, attended Charlie Chaplin's anarchist conferences, and studied dance with Ruth St. Denis. She moved to big apple within the Nineteen Twenties and made a dash with either Harlem Renaissance elites and Greenwich Village bohemians. An émigré in Paris, she fell in with the Left financial institution avant garde, befriending Antonin Artaud, guy Ray, and Pablo Picasso. subsequent, she took up place of dwelling as a journalist in Barcelona throughout the Spanish Civil conflict and witnessed firsthand the transforming into risk of fascism. In 1940, because the Nazi panzers closed in on Paris, Reynolds spent the ultimate days prior to the French capitulation as a pink move nurse, in a while creating a mad sprint for Lisbon to flee at the final send departing Europe.

In prose that completely captures the globetrotting nonchalance of its writer, American Cocktail provides a stimulating, unforgettable self-portrait of a very notable woman.

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From this point on, fascism’s shadow reappears with ever-increasing frequency, often close at hand— as when, working as a French Red Cross nurse in Brittany, Anita recounts the sympathy many of her colleagues showed for the Nazis and her upper-class lover’s own fascist tendencies. ”38 Many, indeed, were the aristocrats who believed Hitler would save France from the communists. After the Germans obliterated Rotterdam from the air, Anita was advised, if she remained in France, to join the American Red Cross in Bordeaux.

By the time she reached Paris, no one could take her for genuinely “primitive,” but they imagined her so. ” And they would become more so. Introduction 35 Reynolds’s own racial identifications shifted as well. ” She distinguishes her own family ethnically from such “African-type” black Americans as A’Lelia Walker. Anita was always incensed by American anti-black racism, and her mother was a leader of the NAACP in Los Angeles. During the Chicago riots of 1919, she was proud of her cousins who transported guns for blacks’ defense against the rioting whites.

An article in The Messenger reviewing a new F. Scott Fitzgerald work from the point of view of a flapper won for me an invitation to visit the author’s Long Island home, an invitation I must confess I had little interest in accepting. (My friends were upper class Negroes and the Greenwich Village crowd which included Eugene O’Neill and Edna St. Vincent Millay. ) Then there had been my work in clay, and dancing with Denishawn and Norma Gould, whose devotion to the “Greek” style of barefoot dancing made famous by Isadora Duncan led me to be hired as an exotic-type extra (earning $10 a day) in such Hollywood epics as The Thief of Bagdad and The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

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