A familiar and visible figure in the Harlem Renaissance, gossip columnist Geraldyn Dismond reported on the Harlem social scene in The Inter-State Tattler, The Amsterdam News, The Pittsburgh Courier, and other African-American papers. She spent several years as managing editor of the Tattler, a New York City newspaper that gave accounts of African-American high society in Harlem, Chicago, and other cities.
Known to many as “Gerry Major,” Dismond graduated from the University of Chicago, married a doctor, and worked briefly as a teacher. During World War I, she was a major in the Red Cross. Eventually, Dismond left her husband, moved from Chicago to Harlem, and found her “true vocation, . . . delineating the social scene in a series of columns.”1
Dismond was a regular at A’Lelia Walker’s salon, known as The Dark Tower, and her accounts of the comings and goings of Harlem’s artistic and intellectual set at these affairs were read widely. Glamorous and lovely, Dismond held many parties of her own and was sometimes referred to as “Harlem’s Hostess.” In 1928, Geraldyn Dismond opened the Geraldyn Dismond Bureau of Specialized Publicity, on 135th Street. She gave herself the title “Publicity Agent.”
In addition to her society journalism and work as a publicity specialist, Dismond was also a radio announcer. She became the first African-American woman to host a regular show. Her program, “The Negro Achievement Hour,” aired first on WABC and later appeared on other area stations.