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The Story of Carlett Brown

By Guest Contributor Monica, originally published at TransGriot

One of the cool benefits of the recent Johnson Publishing Company deal with Google that allows digitizing of the iconic African-American magazines JET and EBONY is that it not only provides a record of Black history as it happened, it also is a cultural time capsule as well.

One of the things I’ve always pondered is African American transgender people and our history. I know I and other African-American transpeeps didn’t just pop up out of thin air. We have a long fascinating history that just begs to be told.

christineOne of those fascinating stories starts unfolding across several JET issues during 1953. Coincidentally it starts around the time Christine Jorgensen had become a household name after the December 1, 1952 news story broke about her surgery and just before her February 12, 1953 return to the United States from Denmark.

It centers on a 26 year old professional female illusionist and shake dancer from Pittsburgh whose birth name was Charles Robert Brown but later changed it to Carlett Angianlee Brown.

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