Esther Jones, known by her stage name, “Baby Esther,” was a singer and entertainer of the late 1920s. She performed regularly at The Cotton Club in Harlem. Helen Kane saw her act in 1928 and appropriated Jones’ ‘baby’ singing style for a recording of “I Wanna Be Loved By You.” Jones’ style went on to become the inspiration for the voice of Betty Boop.(What I Looked up)
Today in Black people invented everything you hold near and dear…
There are a few old Betty Boop cartoons on YouTube where she’s actually animated as Black. I’m both incredibly proud & disgusted to finally have names of all of the Black women who shaped so much of American culture after all of these years of being ignored.
Apparently Helen Kane actually tried to take Paramount and Max Fleshier to court over “Boop Boop Be Doop” and of course the defense had to remind her that she stole it from Baby Esther. Awful.