Margo Jefferson

  • TV Time in Negroland

    My sister is in our parents’ bedroom, at Mother’s vanity dresser. She tries on earrings and necklaces; she hazards a provocative smile; she puts her right elbow on the glass-covered dresser top and places her chin on her hand. (Her ballet-class hand, soft but alert and slightly rounded.) Before dinner, she will ask: “Who do I look more like, Lena Horne or Dorothy Dandridge?”

    I am listening to records. Guys and Dolls, The King and I, Oklahoma . . . I perform rake bravado, soubrette whimsy, judicious womanliness . . . In the South Pacific, the beautiful young lieutenant from Main Line Philadelphia