Moms Mabley (Loretta Mary Aiken)

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Brevard, North Carolina, USA
One the most successful entertainers of the Black vaudeville stage, also known as the Chitlin Circuit, was Jackie "Moms" Mabley, born Loretta Mary Aiken in 1894. At the apex of her long career, she was earning $10,000 a week at Harlem's Apollo Theatre. Mabley focused on conventional topics such as family and others not normally covered by comedians of the era, white or Black, such as infidelity, poverty, welfare, and inebriation.

Billed as the Funniest Woman in the World, she adopted her original stage name from a boyfriend, Jackie Mabley, and began her career at 14. Read more...