Fresh Black Girls: LaWanda Page!
Thembi Ford 10 October 2007 One Comment
Ok, I know that profiling someone who died 5 years ago is the antithesis of ‘freshness,’ but since it’s officially “Stankness Week” in Thembi World I figured I’d feature one of the pioneers of black girl stankness. Everyone knows Aunt Esther from Sanford and Son and one of my favorite catch-phrases – “Watch it, Sucka!” – an expression whose revival is long overdue. LaWanda Page was actually born Alberta Peal and changed to her name to the sassier ‘LaWanda’ to do comedy on the Chitlin Circuit. Not only that, she used to be an exotic dancer and went by the name “Bronze Goddess of Fire” and was rather dope back in the day and well known for an act where she lit cigarettes with her fingertips while wearing a lil’ go-go outfit! Later, childhood friend Redd Foxx brought her along to his new show Sanford and Son and launched her signature role as the pious Aunt Esther. What’s greatest about Page is that she also put out a series of fabulously foul-mouthed comedy albums talking about everything vulgar that you can imagine in the blackest way imaginable. Yes she is mocking the church and smoking joints on this album cover! LaWanda page really invented a certain type of black stankness that has remained unrivaled until now. She didn’t twist her neck up or wag her finger all crazy – it was all in her voice, snarl, and the bawdy things she could get away with saying. Take for example, the clip below from the movie Shakes the Clown. Talk about something only a fresh black girl could say! Man, I miss her.