General Question

ladyv900's avatar

Were there any black secretaries working in New York during the late 1960s?

Asked by ladyv900 (713points) August 7th, 2010

This isn’t a racist question or anything like that, I’m a mixed black person myself.I’m only asking because there is a movie coming up and there is casting call roles they want people to act in.They said to pick any of the roles which included the secretary part and has to be based back in New York in the late 60s.

I don’t want to cast for it then later the casting directors telling me they aren’t looking for a black female to play in it not sure if they would mind giving me another role instead.

I think they’re most likely talking about the ones who are into the system and establisment called by the hippies.

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9 Answers

lillycoyote's avatar

Of course there were. Here’s an article you might find interesting. If black women were working as secretaries anywhere, then they were working as secretaries in New York.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Yes there were. Things were just begining to change. The big cities like NYC, LA and San Francisco were first to grasp desegregation. Blacks were showing up in responsible roles for the first time on TV There was a popular TV show headlined by a black woman. She played a head nurse and ger name was Julia as was the name of the show. People were changing.

Lightlyseared's avatar

A black woman was in charge of comms on the first Enterprise in the 60’s.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Pssst. You “audition” for parts in plays/films. You “cast” with a fishing rod or to create a statue.

It really depends on how the director sees the story. If he has a brunette in mind, and you’re blonde, you could as easily not be cast for that reason. If your audition is good, they might give you another role.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@BarnacleBill I just googled “casting call” and got 7.6 million hits, so I’m pretty sure the OP got the phrase right.

BarnacleBill's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer, Actors attend a casting call and audition (verb). When you are assigned a role in a play, you are “cast” in that role (verb). Attendee of a casting call who hopes to be assigned a role in a production does not “cast” because casting is the act of assigning the role to an auditioner. Only the director or the individuals who are making the decisions about the roles “cast” the participants in a play.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@BarnacleBill My apology. I just reread the OP and now see the use of ‘cast’ in the 2nd paragraph. You are correct.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

(Cont.)... but there weren’t many black secretaries outside of small businesses and independent lawyer’s offices. I think the ideal corporate secretary at the time is best represented by contemporary print ads Burroughs Business Machines/IBM, Xerox and other major office suppliers: With little variation, she was a voluptuous blonde, heavy on the eyelash and mascara, with large, pointed, warhead breasts supported by an intricate feat of wire re-inforced engineering on top and an incredibly restrictive and complex arrangement of girdle, straps, couplings, nylons and high heels below—the higher the heel the better. Every once in a while she would be brunette. In the mid seventies, these ads began introducing light-skinned black women with straightened hair now and then. Except for skin and eye color, she was the same cute, submissive, doe-eyed fertility goddess from the 60s. In the late 70s, she got an afro and slightly darker skin.

Within these cities, especially in Washington DC and NYC, since the turn of the 20th century, there was also a small, proud, educated, segregated, black middle class that was a source of commerce and office work for black men and women.

Smashley's avatar

Absolutely there were.

but you really don’t have to say “this isn’t a racist question.” way too many people think you aren’t even allowed to acknowledge race. it’s cool, don’t be racist and people won’t think you are

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