She was one of the most photographed Black models of the 1950s and ’60s, seen mainly in magazines, like Ebony and Jet, aimed at the Black middle class.
Swan-necked and with an arched-eyebrow hauteur, Helen Williams was the aspirational face of the Black middle class in the 1950s and 60s — the most photographed, and highest paid, Black model of her era.
She was a frequent cover girl for Ebony, Jet and Tan magazines, and the face aligned with many of the products advertised within, from Kodak to Modess to Simplicity Patterns.
She was a ladylike beauty in Budweiser ads; a poised career girl smoking Kent cigarettes. She telegraphed luxury for Bulova
→ Continue reading at The New York Times