on 43rd Street scraping burnt buckram, a
stiff material used for sequins, she explained.
“I worked at the factory awhile and then
went to work for my father cleaning theatres
where he was the supervisor.”
Ella met many famous actors at the
theatre who came to promote their movies,
including James Brown, Bruce Lee, Jim
Kelly, Pam Greer, Al Pacino, and Richard
Roundtree. But the experience she enjoyed
most was the opportunity to work as a
backup dancer at the Apollo where she met
people like James Brown, B. B. King, and
Bobby “Blue” Bland.
In 1962, Ella married and had a son,
Bernard Winn. In the years that followed, she
RIGHT Ms. Ella received a personal handwritten
note from the CEO of Walmart thanking her for
making a difference.
30 Toombs County Magazine