Restaurateur, model, television host, busnesswoman and author Barbara “B.” Smith passed away on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020 after a public battle with Alzheimer’s disease. She was 70 years old.
Smith, born Barbara Elaine Smith, was a native of Everson, graduating with the third graduating class at Southmoreland with the class of 1967. She was also the Scottdale’s heritage festival queen in 1966.
Her senior bio in the 1967 edition of Southmoreland’s yearbook, The Legend, reads “…she would rather dance than walk and hopes to enter the modeling field.”
Smith would later accomplish this, and she participated in the Ebony Fashion Square in the late 1960’s and signed with Wilhelmina Models agency. She broke new ground for people of color when she became the first African American woman to be featured on the cover of Mademoiselle magazine in 1976.
Smith appeared on the famous nationally syndicated children’s television show Mr. Rogers Neighborhood twice with her being the focus of one episode where she gives a tour of her restaurant, ”B. Smith.”
She had her own weekly half-hour syndicated television show on WQED, B. Smith With Style, which made its debut in 1997. It aired on weekdays on BTN and Bounce TV. It featured home decor and cooking segments.
Smith penned four books in her lifetime B. Smith’s Entertaining and Cooking for Friends (1995), B. Smith’s Rituals and Celebrations (1999), B. Smith Cooks Southern Style (2009) and Before I Forget (2016).
Her death was covered by news outlets such as CNN, Fox News and Yahoo.
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