Basketball Wall Street will put out a piece every month about a highly consequential and influential woman. And tie that into the student-athlete experience and education of girl’s grassroots basketball. In this installment, BBWSUSA will cover Eartha Kitt, arguably one of the greatest performers the world has ever seen or heard. Before the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Title IX women’s rights amendment in 1972, which was co-written by Japanese American congresswoman and former high school basketball player Patsy Mink. Eartha Kitt, was a world renowned entertainer, once called “the most exciting woman on earth”. She rose from very humble beginnings, it is documented that she was born in the tiny town of North, South Carolina on a plantation, sometime around 1927. In the height of her career she became the number one entertainer in the world. Performing as a recording artist, film and TV actress, and a Broadway theater performer. Her artistic depth was unmatched, speaking four different languages fluently, learning French on the cabret circuit in Paris. As a recording artist, she released the playful and endearing “Santa Baby” record. The sassy, sing-along Christmas song was a smash hit and has become a classic, iconic tune for generations. Uska Dara, which she sang in Turkish, was also popular internationally.
Without the aid of the Howard University or Spelman College, machines of black-american excellence. Kitt, learned from real world experiences and natural God given talent to succeed in a time of a racially driven society. In the later part of the 1960s, she accepted the role of the Catwoman. A villain in the popular TV show Batman. Subsequently, she took the part to another level with her remarkable acting skills and extreme sense of femininity. She was also a big civil rights activist and pro LGBT rights, being a member of or supporting groups like:
- Women’s League International For Peace & Freedom
- Kittsville Youth Foundation – Watts – (CA)
- Rebels Without a Cause- Anacostia -Washington – (DC)