Celebrating Black History: Esther Jones, The Real Betty Boop!


Celebrating Black History: Esther Jones, The Real Betty Boop!

By Bobbee Denise
Instagram: @

Max Fleischer, the cartoonist and creator of Betty Boop, introduced the character to the world in 1930, after being inspired by the jazz age flapper Esther Jones.

Esther went by the name "Baby Esther" and performed at the Cotton Club in the 1920's. Baby Esther's trademark vocal style of using "boops" and other childlike scat sounds attracted the attention of actress Helen Kane during a performance in the late 1920s. Eventually, Helen would go on to adopt Esther's singing and performing style.

When Betty Boop was introduced to the world, Kane would try to sue Max Fleischer and Paramount Publix Corporation stating he was using her image. It was later revealed via video evidence of Baby Esther performing dated prior to Kane, that Jones was the real Betty Boop. Today Betty Boop may be a young white woman on TV, but the real Betty Boop is all #BlackGirlMagic.

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