Oct. 1971, Playboy Magazine published its first magazine with an African American woman featured on the cover. That black woman was Chicago-native Darine Stern, born November 1947. She was featured in the nude, sitting in a chair which presented the Playboy logo. The iconic photo was shot by photographer Richard Fegley, and directed by Playboy’s art designer Len Willis.
While some may argue that there is no particular honor in being photographed nude, there is honor in being a pioneer…and show casing black beauty as being equivalent in every way to white beauty. Stern went on to become an esteemed model, and was represented by Ford Models, L.A. Models and Models of Chicago. The model and playmate, unfortunately, lost her battle against breast cancer in 1994 at the age of 46.