Thursday, February 4, 2016

Je'Taun M. Taylor Maybellne's first African American Face. Celebrating Black History Month, a tribute to a beautiful Lady, who should never be forgotten



Je'Taun M. Taylor ; Maiden name Je T'Aime Mason (origin of French word Je T'Aime, meaning "I Love You".) 
She was born and raised in Chicago, IL at Cook County Hospital on August 8, 1923. Je'Taun was a very gorgeous, respectable, talented lady with a beautiful soul that shined through her heart of Gold. Her ample wittiness, and extremely broad sense of humor is what made her one of a kind. Je'Taun was all about succeeding and conquering your dreams.

 Her vivacious spirit, and distinguished determination is what led to her success, but her strong faith, willingness to give, and readiness to learn is what grounded her foundation and legacy. In the late 1930's Je'Taun attended cosmetology school as well as receiving a certificate in Real Estate, while also venturing off into her own endeavors intending to capitalize off of her business ventures.


 Some of those ventures included modeling. She also enjoyed altering and modeling clothes. During that time period it was very hard, especially as a woman, to be recognized, considered, or even taken serious due to not only the societies cliche' about how they portrayed women at the time, but as well as characteristic's as simple as the color of her skin. She had to fight for what she wanted. She often stated that she had to be unique in an indifferent world, she had to make a difference, do something that made a statement, and make her mark in this world. She always talked about the promise land...I'm guessing it refers to all the sacred and anointed blessings God has promised each and every one of us.


 We all have our own unique gifts and talents that He only gave to us. While doing so she also made all her loved ones a believer of Christ, with a hopeful future. She grew up in a Christian home. Her grandmother, Ruth Brown, was a Christian Science Minister. Je'Taun carried her grandmothers strong christian faith on through many generations. She gave everyone she came into contact with hope, chance, encouragement, wisdom, and unconditional love just as God does.



 While yet building her modeling career, She had her first child Janice Jackson in 1941. Soon after starting her career, she gained a promising future in modeling with the well known makeup company Maybelline. She was ecstatic to form such a promising future doing exactly what she had wanted to do. She took great joy in modeling for Maybelline. Her career continued to advance with Maybelline, as well as the few business ventures she did with Christian Dior.
 After becoming a bit more successful She then met and married Henry C. Taylor the Vice President of REO movers and van lines, Inc in Chicago, IL. Henry C. Taylor was the brother of Robert Rochon Taylor, 



 Taylor, Robert Rochon (1899–1957) | The Black Past: Remembered and Reclaimed  The first African American Chairmen of Chicago Public Housing who is the great-grandfather of 



Valerie Jarrett (Senior Advisor of President Obama)       https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valerie_Jarrett, and son of 




Robert Robinson Taylor Robert Robinson Taylor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia   the First African American Architect to Graduate MIT.


 After they married she then had her last two children Cherie J. Taylor in 1953 and Joseph Taylor in 1960 her oldest being 12 at the time. All while raising her three children, helping to keep up a household she still managed to pursue her modeling career. She continued modeling until shortly after the death of her 6 month old son in 1961 due to pneumonia. Proceeding her mourning she discontinued her modeling career and decided to dedicate her career path to Realty, so she could spend more time with her family and children. Her husbands business had became very successful during that time, so after working for Travis Realty Group in Chicago, IL for a little under a decade, her first grandchild La'Shaun M. Taylor was born in 1971, where Je'Taun then decided to retire her busy career life at the age of 48 and became a successful stay at home mom. Her and Henry traveled a lot and continued to raise their grandchildren, and her great grandchildren, while continuing to teach and apply the same methods she learned during her successful career path.



 After a few years of success with the REO business Henry then sold his proportion in the business, retired and bought a lounge named The Hide Away in Vandalia, Michigan where he and Je'Taun bought a retirement home in Three Rivers, Michigan. In 1984 Je'Taun suffered another loss of her oldest daughter Janice Jackson due to a tragic house fire. Despite her continuous trials and tribulations, Je'Taun still managed to find beauty in the ashes.


 She lived by the famous Bible scripture "Weeping may endure for the night, but Joy cometh in the morning" -Psalm 30:5... 


Proceeding Janice's tragic death 3 short years after Je'Taun and the Taylor family received another heart wrenching loss. Henry C. Taylor passed away on February 16th 1987 two days before his 75th birthday due to a heart attack. Leaving only Je'Taun, her daughter Cherie, her grandchild La'Shaun and great-granddaughter Joyce J. Taylor here with us. The Taylor family decided to stick together.

 They stayed in Michigan for another decade where her great grandchild La'Shaun married and had 5 children. In 2003 Je'Taun and the Taylor Family proceeded to move back to Her home state in Chicago IL. where they moved into a southern suburb and continued to make ends meet. While raising her grandchildren,



 Je'Taun passed down her many talented gifts such as sewing, modeling, making clothes, designing, and her many cosmetology tatics. She always said don't show the world what you been through by how you look, show them with actions...always look your best, forgive never forget, and love conquers all sin.

 She left behind unforgettable lessons and a golden legacy to live by. In 2008 at the age of 85, Je'Taun suffered from a stroke that left her paralyzed on the whole right side of her body.


 Thus, causing her grandchildren to step up and extend the same love that was once given. Although some of her independence was altered, her grandchildren still often caught her applying her makeup and perming her hair. 
 After 5 years of enduring the effects that the stroke caused, on September 12, 2013 Je'Taun proceeded in passing onto a better place.



 She leaves behind her daughter Cherie Taylor, her grand daughters La'Shaun Taylor, Michia Casebier and Kimberly Hicks, as well as her great-grandchildren Joyce Taylor, Antonio Taylor, Charde' Haynes-Taylor, Chane' Haynes-Taylor, Thomeshia Muse, Jadai Echols, and Juanita Echols who all reside in Chicago IL as of 2016.  




 Lessons she passed on--- Stand up and make a name for yourself! Capitalize off your talents. She lived by love, and always kept the faith and respect of Jesus Christ no matter how burdened the suffering. One thing she often said that we all should live by is: You can have it all, then lose it all, and then you'll have nothing...but as long as you keep God you'll always have everything.



A tribute video to their Grandmother, Je'Tuan Taylor

Obituary

        Mrs. Je’Taun M. Taylor was born on the 8th day of August 1923 in Chicago Illinois to Kurtis Mason and Gladys Ayers Mason. She was the only child and was raised with her three cousins Audrey President, William Willis and Marvin Willis by her Grandmother Ruth Ayers as her mother pursued a dancing career with a traveling dance group called the Whitman Sisters. After College she attended cosmetology school at Madam C.J Walkers Beauty Bar in Indianapolis. After her graduation she continued that skill as a bread and butter part time job as she went to work as an Entry Clerk at the Provident Hospital in Chicago. This job led her to the Office of Mayor Richard Daley Sr. where she worked as the first and only African American secretary/receptionist to work in his office at that time.

 Shortly after that her career in beauty began to take off. She was one of the first African American women to model for Maybelline New York Cosmetics, Parkway Ball Room, and the Regal Theatres back in the 1950’s. Ending this journey with Vulture Magazine in 1965. During this magnificent time in her life she had also been going through some down falls yet still seeking God, and moving forward. She had given her hand in marriage to Mr. Ally Guy Jackson in which they gave birth to her eldest child Janice Je’Taun Jackson who later proceeded her in death in 1985. She later divorced and married Charles Wilson who made her the proud mother of a son Joseph Wilson, who preceded her in death 2weeks after birth from pneumonia in 1961.

 She had struggles but she continued on with her faith, kept pushing, and kept it moving. Her final union was with Henry C. Taylor the brother of Robert L. Taylor of Robert Taylor Homes and Apartments in Chicago, Illinois who founded The Reo Movers and Greyhound Van Line moving companies. This union brought life to each other, and to her only surviving child who she leaves here with us today. Her late husband Henry C. Taylor sadly preceded her in death in 1987. She then took in her daughter, Kimberly Cherie Joyce Taylor, her granddaughter La’Shaun Taylor, and her great grand daughter Joyce C.J. Taylor who she leaves here with us today.

Kimberly Hicks. Her other six great grand children as follows Antonio M.M. Taylor, Charde’ D.C. Haynes-Taylor, Chane’ D.C. Haynes-Taylor, Thomeshia R.T. Muse, Jadai I. Echols, Juanita “Jay” Echols, and one great great grand daughter Cyriah A. Adams all of Chicago, Illinois. She also leaves behind an army of first, second, and third cousins, and many family friends who lives she has touched, and left a Godly impression on. Her last assignment and profession here on Earth was her Confession “Jesus Christ Is Lord”. Je’Taun was something different. She has touched all of our lives in so many special ways that we now know how to keep hope and faith alive. Anyone who came in contact with her got genuine love, acceptance, and Godly wisdom. She could brighten the darkest days, make a smile out of the saddest frowns, and warm and melt the coldest of hearts. All of her days she strived to show everyone the way, and take as many as she could to the King with her. She was so caring, and giving. 

She set Godly morals and principles for us to believe and live by. She was a life that kept on giving. Although she is gone, she will never be forgotten. She has made her mark, and she has made it with the Lord. Job well done Our Angel. Our Beloved Jesus Christ We Ask You & We Pray That You Keep Us And Shield Us As We Make It Through This Difficult Journey. We ask that You Help Us To Live Life More Abundantly And Continue To Love And Serve You Just As Jay Jay Did. Continue To Fight For Holiness With All Your Might, Spread the Gospel, Preach The Work, And Keep Following The King!
I received an email from Je'Taun's Great Granddaughter, Chane' Haynes and I owe her and her family an apology for the misinformation about who was actually Maybelline's first African American model. I had been told by my grandmother, Evelyn Williams, that it was Dorothea Church Towels.  She was wrong. I greatly appreciate the correction and I'm happy to finally know the true story.
Here is the email...


Some of the photos you are using for Dorothea Towels is in fact falsified and actually mixed up between her and my great-grandmother Je'Taun Taylor sister in-law of Robert R. Taylor, and she in fact was the first African American face model for Maybelline New York. I have more pictures of her that she left with us due to her passing this past 2013 at 90 years of age. Some of those photos she left us (Original Print) are posted on your website as Dorothea Towels.
I asked Chane' If I could do a post about Je' Taun for Black History Month and she was so very kind and generous with her family's story..




Hello Sharrie,
How are you feeling today? Great I Pray.. :-)
I'm honored I found this history. My Great-Grandmother Je'Taun raised me and 10+ other children including my sisters and brother, her children and my mother. She spent her years teaching us wisdom, humbleness, and the Love of God. She was so gentle, meek, caring, understanding, forgiving, and loving. She stood very strong on her faith, and was a woman of her word. This past 2013 in the morning of September 12 I watched my granny pass on to a better place. Every since that day I promised myself that her legacy would live on through me and my siblings. Its all about conquering your demons and maximizing your strength through faith and walking in your spirit instead of your flesh. After she passed I needed answers. I needed to see who she was...even though I spent 21 years with her she was very seldom in the memories she selected to share.. she was all about the now and moving into a better future... but one in particular I remember her telling us, because she took so much honor in it, was her being the first African American model for Maybelline and she would always show me these beautiful pictures of herself and her husband and children. So i decided to go on an internet search... I've been searching and searching for anything to see if it was any information out there on her modeling career. So I looked up "first African American model" and Dorothea Towles popped up and I was in denial because I just knew all these stories I would hear growing up were true. So I added "for Maybelline" and her pictures popped up with the name of Dorothea Towles attached. At that time I was confused and frustrated which is when I contacted you and other sources that also misinterpreted the same information and using the same images. In fact Dorothea Towles was the first African American model in PARIS, Je'Taun was the first African American model for Maybelline, as the picture and the 1940's ad speaks for itself. She also mentioned she would bring her daughter, my grandmother, along at times and they would model together. I have a couple of pictures attached and if you have any more you can just add them with your blog. 
Chane' the love you have for your Great Grandmother shows so deeply in the video you made of her life. I wept watching it and couldn't help but think of my mother and grandmothers. Thank you so much for sharing your story with me.  I think you should write a book and it should be a movie. Send to Oprah while it's Black History month.  


We thought of you with Love Today, But this is nothing new to you…
yesterday, and the day before that too…
We think of you in silence, and so often speak your name…
Now all we have are memories a frame…
It broke our hearts to lose you, but you didn’t go on alone…
Apart of each of us went with you, Thursday when God took you home…
A Bouquet of beautiful memories, sprayed with a million tears….
Wishing God would have once again spared you, if just only for a few more years….
Tell your loved ones you love them, don’t let another second go by…
We love you Jay-Jay, we miss you and getting through this we’ll have to try…
But we are so proud to keep your dreams and vision alive…
Trying to rid this pain, remembering that death is one of God’s precious designs…
But this healing process will take one day at a time…
You lived your full life, And you checked out right on time…
Sharing wise words, staying humble, and always being so kind…
You loved and cherished us all with your whole heart Its just sad to see you go, thinking about the time we have to spend apart
Yet this is only for a little while, for everyone has a time and a date when their eternity will start… 
But for now we hold you closely my dear so your spirit can live forever in our heart…
I can hear your voice repeating “as you release this butterfly you honor me…
Just know that I am with you now, and will forever be…
Hold each others hand and please say a prayer…
Close your eyes, feel the warmth and envision me right there…
Now you must continue to fly like little butterflies, As high as you can go…
Seek ye first the Kingdom, and stand firm on the word that you know…
And I am right there beside you, watching closely as you grow…
Yess, this too shall pass…
For you must have known some things just don’t last…
We are so grateful to God for blessing us with such a wonderful gift of “You”…
We will always miss you our sweet Angel, and we know you miss us too…
We love you our Amazing Beloved Precious Jay-Jay…
and we will continue on just like you to make Jesus our way….
each and evey single day…

4 comments:

  1. Kudos for your contribution during Black History Month....elsewise, the spotlight seems to have dimmed.

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    1. I'm hoping to add more awareness about African American women who were the first to break into a field dominated by white faces. I hope to write an article for a magazine and do a spot on tv. I will keep you posted

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  3. I think that the spotlight will continue to shine as long as we keep spreading the light! Thank you so much for this Sharrie! You are absolutely amazing and I know my grandmother is smiling from Heaven's doors☺️ I will help with the awareness and everything will follow in due season! Your book is amazing!! It took me to a whole new world and gave me a whole new outlook on how to advertise and what to look for within this beauty industry! I have 5chapters to go and will post about it as soon as I'm finished! I'm loving it so far ☺️☺️ keep doing you because you do it so well!

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