shirley temple black, breast cancer activist, former child star, 1928-2014

Shirley Temple and Bill "Bojangles" Robinson
Growing up watching old movies, I was a big fan of Shirley Temple, whose dimples, singing, and tap-dancing charmed my parents' generation.

Temple danced with some of the tap greats, African-American men who Hollywood cast as servants, yassuh-ing their way into the dance scenes. The popularity of the adorable child star opened the back door for many talents.

When I was a young teen, Shirley Temple, then known as Shirley Temple Black, spoke out about undergoing a radical mastectomy. This was unheard of, and took enormous courage in a time when breast cancer was considered shameful - and fatal. She was a real trailblazer. She was also a United States
Ambassador to more than one country.

I was sorry to see that the wire-service obituary referred to Black as "Shirley Temple," and made no mention of her later accomplishments.

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