THE RAW PEARL by Pearl Bailey


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Well darlin's, here she is, mother Pearl with her drops of wisdom and this life story seems like one long aside. Pearl popped into show business on the heels of brother Willie (still one of the fastest dancers on the floor) and she seems not to have hit the low points of many Negro performers. Or maybe it's because she doesn't dwell on them. There was a second husband who tried to have her committed (his insanity) and she was once brutally beaten by a faceless white man. But she remains sturdily loyal to and vocal about brotherhood: ""No, I haven't marched any place physically, but I march every day in my heart. I live with humanity every day, and when you live with humanity then you have walked--and the road is not easy, necessarily."" There is the usual run-down of clubs and shows; the good time with Louis Bellson, her husband of the past fifteen years, and their two adopted children. But the sermonettes seem a little long including a piece that she wrote after ""a worrisome revelation in my sleep"" titled ""Bare the Backs for the Lash."" All very heartfelt but somehow the ad libs seem a little forlorn without the famous gestures.

Pub Date: Sept. 11th, 1968
Publisher: Harcourt, Brace & World