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for "Akins, Loretta May, 1897-1975"
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Elliston recounts the life of \"Moms\" Mabley, the trailblazing Brevard-born comedienne. Born Loretta May Aiken, her early days in show business were confined to the segregated black night club and theatrical circuits. In the 1930s she adopted the stage name of Jackie \"Moms\" Mabley, a colorfully dressed bag lady. Eventually she crossed over to success in films, best-selling records, and TV variety shows, like Ed Sullivan's. From the 1930s until her death in 1975 she was the country's reigning black comediennes.