This is a prelude to the remarkable story I’m reviewing for you guys. This is Ms. Flossie Lee Turner, also known as “Little Hot Mama”, the youngest member of a carnival entertainment act coming to prominence during prohibition and race segregration of the 1930s. Flossie Lee was just 2 years old when she headlined for her parents at local venues during the times where people of color were shunned and devoid of human dignity. Because they were entertainers, Flossie and her family managed to escape the hostile treatment received by other “coloreds ” although they still had to go in the back door of these places where they performed Minstrel Shows; entertainment/ singers, dancers and performing headliners to often sold-out white audiences…
Little Hot Mama appealed to me because of a number of factors. I’m reminded of my Southern roots. I’m a lover of music-old time vaudeville- plays and skits. Some of those skits this family of entertainers put together are totally mindboggling and hilarious. In parts of the book, there are skits where I found myself laughing, sucking air with big gulps of merriment and just as easily blinking away tears… The book is entertaining, but, it’s also very, very, sobering. The story of Lee Ann Lewis aka, Ms. Flossie Lee Turner aka “Little Hot Mama”, takes the reader on a vivid truth, complete with photos of life on the road as a Carnie. She tells of an addictive gambler named Hot Papa, her dad and a beautiulf, neglected and feared woman named Earsline Sampson, Flossie’s showstopping, singer, dancer, actor, protector and “uppity” mom.
I’ve given away only a tiny bit of what makes “Little Hot Mama” such a fascinating read! Stay tuned for the real deal from my review shortly. You won’t want to miss my review of this great autobiographical work!
What are you good at remembering?