The Southeast Missourian – July 10, 1953
An unusual feature wrestling match has been scheduled for Saturday night at the Arena. Ethel Johnson and Babs Wingo, both Negroes, will grapple for a regulation match, two out of three falls, 60-minute time limit.
A four-man tag team match will be the second feature. Red Roberts and Rube Wright will team up against the brothers Welch, Ed and Herb. All of them are well known here.
Babs Wingo, 19, hails from New Orleans where she used to be a hatcheck girl. When she first started working out, in the early stages of her career, she got her first knot on the head. “What a thrill,” she says. “I showed it off like a new diamond.”
Her ambition before turning to the wrestling mat was to be a home economics teacher. She does oil painting and listens to music. She prefers classics to jazz, she claims.
Ethel Johnson, 18, says she went into wrestling because she “always wanted to do something where I could move around a lot.” She started studying dancing but changed her mind when she saw a couple of girl wrestlers perform.
She claims the honor of being the first Negro girl in North America to be booked as a professional wrestler. She prefers to wrestle in the clean style and can hardly be crowded into rough tactics. Babs is less fastidious. She can get mean without trying too hard.