Prejudice drove away black female artists from the United States.

In 1966, Tina Turner performed “River Deep, Mountain High.” The song failed to top the American charts that year. The song was “too white for Black jockeys and too Black for White jockeyes,” according to Ike Turner [1, 2].
One of the co-directors, Dan Lindsay, told the PBS NewsHour that while Tina is a “megastar” in the United States, she is not one in Europe. The “vestiges of Jim Crow” that were “still very much alive in the music industry” were mirrored in the disparity of adoration, according to Ford [3].
Private Dancer, Tina Turner’s 1984 album, which had to be produced in England, was successful in launching her solo career. According to the author, a Capitol executive there called her an N-word douchebag and refused to promote her work. According to Katori Hall, Europe received her with open arms and in ways that America did not [4-6].
When Josephine Baker arrived in Paris in the middle of the 1920s, she became an instant phenomenon. Before it had the chance to be staged in the United States, “The Mountaintop” won best new play at the 2010 Laurence Olivier awards in London. For African American listeners who could visualize a life abroad, “her voice became a standout,” according to Ford. She explained why she had to leave America in a speech to a gathering in St. Louis in 1952 by saying, “I ran away from home.” According to Ford, Turner had to pick cotton as a child due to his low socioeconomic status [7, 8].
Ike and Tina addressed a certain type of annoyance as well as the potential for Black independence, according to Ford. In the 1970s, she claimed, America continued to test the idea of what a Black woman was. Ford: Tina Turner must deal with “disparities in housing, health care, education, and so on” while she relaunches her career [9-11].
With songs like “Young, Gifted and Black” and “Mississippi Goddamn,” among other civil rights anthems, Nina Simone utilized her music to condemn racism in America. After an altercation at a 1968 White House dinner, Eartha Kitt was forced to depart the country. She spent several years living elsewhere, including Liberia, Barbados, and France [12, 13].
A week after the dinner, the CIA published a report on Eartha Kitt. Later this year, Tina Turner will be enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Tina discussed her challenging circumstances, which “should have broken me, but instead created fuel for my path,” in an interview from last year [14, 15].
Generally, Private Dancer, Tina Turner’s 1984 album, had to be made in England, which helped in the beginning of her solo career. Her voice “became a highlight” for African Americans who could picture a life overseas, said Ford. She asserted that America kept putting the concept of what a Black woman was to the test in the 1970s. Eartha Kitt was made to leave the nation following a fight at a White House dinner. Later this year, Tina Turner will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In an interview from the previous year, Tina talked about how her difficult circumstances “could have shattered me, but instead produced fuel for my journey.” A report on Eartha Kitt was released by the CIA a week after the meal.
[1] I. Turner, T. Turner, Ike, and T. Turner, River deep, mountain high. A & M Records, 1968.
[2] T. Turner, “” River Deep–Mountain High,” Tina Turner, p. 311.
[3] T. Andrewes, “The Lemonade Event.”
[4] M. Bego, Tina Turner: Break Every Rule. Rowman & Littlefield, 2005.
[5] P. Lancaster et al., “Rod Stewart,” Age, 1945.
[6] M. Mahon, “African American Women and the Dynamics of Gender, Race, and Genre in Rock’n’Roll,” in Issues in African American Music: Routledge, 2016, pp. 301-319.
[7] S. W. Churchill, ““The Whole Ensemble”: Gwendolyn Bennett, Josephine Baker, and Interartistic Exchange in Black American Modernism,” Humanities, vol. 11, no. 4, p. 74, 2022.
[8] J. Lyon, “Josephine Baker’s Hothouse,” Modernism, Inc.: Body, Memory, Capital, pp. 29-47, 2001.
[9] H. V. Carby, Cultures in Babylon: Black Britain and African America. Verso, 1999.
[10] B. G. Plummer, In search of power: African Americans in the era of decolonization, 1956-1974. Cambridge University Press, 2013.
[11] J. R. Greene, Betty Ford: Candor and Courage in the White House. Modern First Ladies, 2004.
[12] D. A. Brooks, “Nina Simone’s triple play,” Callaloo, vol. 34, no. 1, pp. 176-197, 2011.
[13] R. Iton, In search of the black fantastic: Politics and popular culture in the post-civil rights era. Oxford University Press, 2010.
[14] K. L. Dreher, Don’t should on me: The Black actress, 1940–1970: Lena Horne, Diahann Carroll, and Eartha Kitt. University of California, Riverside, 2001.
[15] V. Terrace, Crime Fighting Heroes of Television: Over 10,000 Facts from 151 Shows, 1949-2001. McFarland, 2015.

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