Magalie René-Hayes creates beautiful spaces for a better world through Magalie René-Hayes Interiors and Kid-Smart Spaces™. She takes a unique approach that combines holistic ideas, science, and interior design principles for happy, healthy living. Magalie's book "Kid-Smart Spaces - Decorating a Classroom That Changes Lives", written to help teachers create inspired learning environments, is due out in early summer 2017.
What Does This Photo Mean To You For Black History Month This Year?
What a pleasant surprise it was when I turned a page in one of my favorite coffee table books, Vintage Black Glamour by Nichelle Gainer, to find a fellow Haitian-American diva. The image, of singer and actress Josephine Premice delicately tying the ribbon on her high-heeled shoes before a performance, was captured in May 1951.
I learned all about her work with Lena Horne, her friendship with Diahann Carroll, her roles on Broadway and television (anyone else recall the dramatic French professor she played on A Different World?). Most interesting of all was her family history.
"Josephine Mary Premice was born in Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of Thelomaine and Lucas Premice. Her parents were part of the Haitian aristocracy who fled Haiti after her father, Lucas Premice, who allegedly had claim to the title Count de Brodequin, was part of a failed rebellion to try to overthrow the dictator of the country. Lucas was imprisoned in Guiana. He and a fellow prisoner to whom he was chained escaped and fled through the woods to friends that awaited them on the coast. On the third day of their journey, the other man died, and Lucas is said to have had to cut off the man's arm to free himself from the chains. He was brought to France, where he learned to cut fur for the couturiers. He eventually immigrated to New York in the early 1920s.
Premice and her sister, Adele, were given the education and training of an "at-home finishing school" and treated like part of the elite, at a time when African Americans were treated as second-class citizens, even in the northern states.
She made her Broadway debut in 1945 in Blue Holiday, a revue choreographed by the prolific Katherine Dunham."
Images of Indian pigments in their gloriously saturated hues light me up! First, because there's something about those deep, rich, joyful colors! Every aspect of life deserves a touch of that joy, so I always find ways to incorporate bold colors in my interior design and fashion choices. Then there's my fascination with the country. Since deepening my yoga practice and developing a business around conscious, purposeful living India's been calling my name.
This year I've finally gotten serious about planning my trip there. My mission is to experience yoga at an ashram and to bring back fabrics and textiles in as many beauty-full shades as possible!
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