One of my biggest joys and surprises of the 50 SHADES OF BLACK Project came recently.  You may recall my feature and highlight of Jazz Singer Joyce Bryant.  Much to my surprise and delight, I received a note from the niece and caretaker Joyce Bryant.  It was brief but very much heartfelt.

Great article..Joyce Bryant is my aunt & she is still alive & well. She lives with me. Thanks for that great picture too.

We have now been in regular communication and in a later correspondence she wrote:

Thank you!!! I was just surfing the web and found your site :) I was just very curious to see if there was anything out there about my aunt and there was your site absolutely AMAZING...MY aunt has been an inspiration to me & our family.

She also shared this amazing image of Joyce Bryant with 50 SHADES OF BLACK.  I am blessed by this exchange.  It has been a huge affirmation of the project. I am learning so much about the great Joyce Bryant now first hand.  Much more to come.

I'd love to hear from you.  Share any of your stories, reflections directly to the conversation thread using form below or email me directly at

submissions [at] 50shadesofblack [dot] com

-Carlton Mackey

Posted on August 6, 2012 and filed under blog.