Nora Holt, photographed with a marionette by Carl Van Vechten on August 29, 1937, was first African American to earn a master’s degree in music (Chicago Musical College, 1918) She was a music critic for two preeminent black newspapers, the Chicago Defender and the New York Amsterdam News. Married five (or more) times, she was also a regular in the gossip columns thanks to her scandalous love life. Ms. Holt was also said to be the inspiration for the “Lasca Sartoris” character in Van Vechten’s infamous, controversial novel, “N****r Heaven.” She died in Los Angeles in 1974. Photo: Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Nora Holt, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1937.
Original caption: “Josephine Baker (L) receiving hug fr. columnist & friend Nora Ray Holt in her dressing room after her show at the Strand theater during her US tour.” Photo: Alfred Eisenstaedt. Life magazine. Mar 10, 1951
SCREAMED when I saw this picture!