Groundbreaking Magic – A Black Woman’s Journey Through The Happiest Place on Earth

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by: Martha Blanding, Tim O’Day

An empowering and moving story of a young woman from South Central Los Angeles (Watts and Compton) who took a chance, defied the odds, and became the first-ever Black American to achieve a half-century-long career with The Walt Disney Company.

Disneyland was groundbreaking when it opened in 1955 and continues to possess a legacy of being a trend setter in both the world of themed, immersive, entertainment and workplace culture, experiences, and training. Although change was inevitable it didn’t always come easy.
Here is the incredible story of a young woman from South Central Los Angeles (Watts and Compton) who took a chance, defied the odds, and became the first-ever Black American to achieve a half-century-long career with The Walt Disney Company.

When Martha Blanding started working at Disneyland Park in 1971, it was already a wildly successful and internationally beloved travel destination that had welcomed more than 100 million guests. This book is a personal journey through fifty years of Disneyland as told like never before – through the eyes and perspective of a successful Black woman who was indeed an example of Groundbreaking Magic.

This book tells how a twenty-year-old college student came to work in Walt Disney’s original theme park during the racially charged era of the early 1970s, starting as the park’s first Black tour guide and eventually overseeing multi-million dollar generating merchandise-based events, many featuring globally acclaimed artists and celebrities. Martha also had a unique vantage point as she saw how societal changes impacted and changed Disneyland while she helped make much of that change possible.

In addition to all the Disney pixie dust, an incredibly loving, resilient, and close American family is at the heart of this book. With her bedrock parents who had joined the Great Migration out of the Deep South, her family witnessed firsthand some of our country’s most shameful events while never faltering in their faith or pride in being Black Americans.

Part memoir and part cultural history, Groundbreaking Magic is sweet, insightful, sometimes blunt, occasionally heartbreaking, and often funny and surprising, providing the first-ever account of Disney history as seen through the eyes of “Martha B.”

Format: Hardcover – New
Publisher: Disney Editions Deluxe
Pages: 384
SKU: 102453

Additional information

Weight 20 oz
Dimensions 5.47 × 8.23 × 0.79 in
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