Black HerStory Month: Teresa Graves

Any Southern Journeys fans tune in ABC's Scandal? Kerry Washington is making black history as the lead actress in this popular primetime drama. Today, as part of our Black HerStory Month celebration, we are recognizing Teresa Graves, the first African-American woman to star in her own hour long drama television series. 

Teresa Graves (January 10, 1946 - October 10, 2002)

Teresa Graves (January 10, 1946 - October 10, 2002)

Teresa Graves was born on January 10th, 1948 in Houston, Texas.  She got her start in show business as a member of a singing group called, The Doddletown Pipers.  She later on became involved in acting and had regular roles on, "Our Place" (1967) and "Turn On" (1969).  She was also a regular on "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In" (1969-1970) and also worked on a number of films such as, "That Man Bolt" (1973), "Black Eye" (1974) and "Old Drac" (1975). Graves also starred on the television show, "Get Christie Love" (1974-1975) and retired from the industry shortly afterwards choosing to focus in 1983 on her involvement with Jehovah's Witnesses.  She spent the remainder of her life living in Hyde park in Los Angeles California and cared for her ailing mother. 

At the age of fifty two she passed away in a tragic house fire on October 10th, 2002 in Los Angeles, California.  Graves married only once in 1977 to William D. Reddick but it is unknown for how long the couple stayed together and she never had any children of her own. 

Source: matineeclassics.com

Teresa Graves on the cover of TV guide for her starring role in "Get Christie Love!"

Teresa Graves on the cover of TV guide for her starring role in "Get Christie Love!"

Teresa Graves performing

Teresa Graves performing

Do you think Teresa Graves is someone more people should know about? Share this post with others on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest using the hashtag #BlackHerStoryMonth and let us know what you think. We'll be featuring notable women in black history in our blog all February.

Our store is marking this occasion with a 15% storewide sale through February 28, using the code BLACKHERSTORY13 at checkout.

- SJ