Fairytale: The Pointer Sisters’ Family Story (Synopsis)

This Fairytale is four unique yet inseparable, inspiring, stories of June, Bonnie, Anita and Ruth Pointer. In words and pictures –photographs and letters, Anita and Fritz Pointer (sister and brother) bring to life the exciting story of: migration during the 1940s Great Migration of Black Americans; fifteen family members living in one house; the deeply troubling dismissal of their father from the church he helped to build; Bonnie and Anita’s founding membership in the Northern California Black Panther Party; the Sisters serendipitous discovery by producer David Rubinson.

Here, also, are stories of love and companionship, fierce individuality and competition. For their debut performance in San Francisco, picture: four Billie Holidays and, surprise, the band in KKK costumes; later, a mob carrying signs that say “Keep Country White” at the Grand Ole Opry. Refusing to be intimidated or pigeonholed, The Pointer Sisters “broke the mold” for female performing groups, by amazingly, singing all styles of music with honesty and conviction: Jazz, Blues, Gospel, Country & Western, Rhythm & Blues and Pop. They received three Grammy and three American Music Awards; a Hollywood Star, and performed at the S.F. Opera House, at the Mohamed Ali v. George Foreman championship fight in Zaire, Africa, at Carnegie Hall and the White House.

Fritz has two Masters degrees: one in African History (UCLA) and another in African Literature (UW-Madison). He and his wife, Liziwe, who is from South Africa have been to South Africa several times. Fritz has also published a literary biography on Alex La Guma an icon of South African Literature as well as on African Oral Epic Literature. There is, in our book, poetry from Lizzie’s dad, Dr. Daniel Kunene a leading South African scholar and poet. It was his admonition to June about conditions under apartheid that convinced the Pointer Sister to not play Sun City; while, on the other hand, encouraging them to participate in the We Are the World recording to raise money for African causes.

Aaron, the oldest brother, is the last professional baseball player to bat .400 for a season; a record that has stood for 50 years. He is the 1st African American official in the NFL and currently serves as Commissioner of Parks and Recreation for the city of Tacoma, Washington, an elected position. And, Paul Silas a 1st cousin has won three NBA championships and is in the College Basketball Hall of Fame.

The lives of the Pointer Sisters, even today, are stunning and triumphant. Collectively, and individually, when it was time, June, Bonnie, Anita and Ruth cared for and supported their parents, their own children and grandchildren in sickness and in health. They have made their presence on this planet matter.