The Chicago-Sun Times reported that Mrs. L’Toska Powell –stylist to the stars– passed away at 97 years old in Chicago, IL.
L’Toska Powell was there to see the beginnings of African Americans in Hollywood.
The Grenada, Mississippi, native’s family migrated to Chicago, Illinois, 1930’s in search of jobs and a better life. While in Chicago, she was inspired and awed by the thriving Black nightlife that was filled with music, dancing, and glamorous stars. 1930’s Chicago was also home to a growing and bustling mob scene with such crime outfits as the legendary figures as Al Capone and Bugs Moran.
Mrs. Powell was able to carve a niche out of the magnificence of Chicago’s Club DeLisa in the Bronzeville district. African American stars often came through her town and she was able to find an opportunity in doing their hair. Then –as now– few salons would be able to adequately style Black hair, let alone want to do it. She apparently did hair so well that she soon began doing the hair of such stars as Lena Horne, Mahalia Jackson and Dinah Washington.
A graduate from Morgan Park High School, Mrs. Powell studied hair styling under Marjorie Joyner, a protege of the famous Madame C.J. Walker, the nation’s first African American millionaire.
Mrs. Powell is also survived by her nieces Pamela Brown and Patricia Cordell, and her cousins Viola Turrett and Opal Nealy.
A viewing will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at Carter Funeral Chapels, 2100 E. 75th St., with a funeral service at the chapels at 10 a.m. Wednesday. Burial is at Lincoln Cemetery at 123rd and Kedzie.