Black History Month: Eartha Kitt

We're all rejected people, we know what it is to be refused, we know what it is to be oppressed, depressed, and then, accused, and I am very much cognizant of that feeling. Nothing in the world is more painful than rejection. I am… Click To Tweet

Eartha Kitt was an American entertainer and activist who fought for civil rights, to the detriment of her own career, and did so with no regrets and no shame.

In 1968, Kitt answered a question posed to her by Lady Bird Johnson about the Vietnam war, stating

The children of America are not rebelling for no reason. They are not hippies for no reason at all. We don’t have what we have on Sunset Blvd for no reason. They are rebelling against something. There are so many things burning the people of this country, particularly mothers. They feel they are going to raise sons – and I know what it’s like, and you have children of your own, Mrs. Johnson – we raise children and send them to war.


This caused Ms. Johnson to burst into tears, and led to the CIA investigating Kitt, calling her a “sadistic nymphomaniac” and making it difficult for her to find paid work in the US.

Kitt didn’t let that stop her, continuing to build her career in Europe, singing in eleven languages, fluent in four. She continued her activism despite the CIA’s attempt at blacklisting her.

Kitt never stopped fighting for civil rights, coming out in support of LGBTQ rights, establishing the Kittsville Youth Foundation, and working with Rebels with a Cause in 1966.

Aila is a 30 year old single mum and social justice educator and writer. You can find her on facebook, or on her blog
Scroll to top