Themes

The Archive

Digital Archive brought to you
by JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Kitt, Eartha

b. 1927 - d. 2008

Eartha Mae Kitt was born on a cotton plantation in Orangeburg County, South Carolina. At age 8, she was sent to Harlem to live with an aunt. A singer, actress and cabaret star of international renown, Kitt performed on Broadway, appeared in films and on television, sang in nightclubs and concert halls, and recorded albums, including her biggest hit Santa Baby. Kitt was ostracized in the U.S. after her remarks about Vietnam at a 1968 White House luncheon. When the First Lady asked about street crime, Kitt said, “You send the best of this country off to be shot and maimed. No wonder the kids rebel and take pot.” Dr. King lauded her for her courage, saying she deserved the Nobel Peace Prize. For the next 10 years, Kitt worked abroad, increasing her international acclaim.

Associated Archive Content : 10 results

Eartha, Verbal Tempest, Flies to Los Angeles

This article references statements made by entertainer Eartha Kitt during a White House luncheon for women. Kitt expressed her concerns about the impact of the Vietnam War on American families and their sons.

Letter from Dora McDonald to Eartha Kitt

Dr. King's secretary Dora McDonald commends actress Eartha Kitt for speaking "as a woman, among women.” Responding to a question by the First Lady at a White House luncheon hosted by Lady Bird Johnson, Kitt linked youth violence to the Vietnam War.

Letter from Dora McDonald to Mamie Reese

Dr. King's assistant writes Mamie Reese to applaud Eartha Kitt's courage in speaking up about what she believes is the cause of “restlessness” and crime in the streets. Kitt spoke out against the Vietnam War at a White House luncheon hosted by Lady Bird Johnson, the First Lady.

Letter from Eartha Kitt to MLK

Eartha Kitt expresses her admiration for Dr. King and his cause.

Letter from Esther G. Stone to MLK

Esther G. Stone writes to Dr. King to express her opinions on Negro leadership, American politics, and the Vietnam War. Stone writes that President Lyndon Johnson has done so much for Negroes and that Mrs. Johnson did not deserve the hurtful remarks of Eartha Kitt.

Letter from J. E. Hale to MLK

In this letter Hale criticizes Dr. King for being seen with Ertha Kitt asserting that Dr. King likes any type of publicity.

Telegram from MLK to Eartha Kitt

Dr. King requests a telephone conversation with Miss Kitt.

Telegram from MLK to Eartha Kitt

Dr. King thanks singer-actress Eartha Kitt for her generous support and deep concern for the people of Birmingham, Alabama, and elsewhere in the South. He extends his appreciation to those in the Harlem Apollo Theatre who have contributed in response to her example.

Thank You Letter from Dr. King to Eartha Kitt

In this letter, Dr. King is expressing his deep apprecitation to Eartha Kitt for her contribution to the Southern Chrisitan Leadership Conference.

The Mark of the Hawk

"The Mark of the Hawk" was a 1957 drama film distributed by Universal-International. The film features notable actors, Sidney Poitier and Eartha Kitt. Dr. King states that this movie is one of the "most captivating and moving productions."