Elton and Sarah were from Arkansas, and Anita fell in love with her grandparents’ house in the town of Prescott, where she attended fifth, seventh, and tenth grades. She attended a racially segregated school, was forced to sit on the movie theater balcony, and once picked cotton for money.
She graduated from Oakland Technical High School in 1965 and was hired as a legal secretary. In 1968, she saw Bonnie and June singing to a crowd in San Francisco. “I just lost it,” she told Collector’s Weekly in 2015. “I was in that audience and I cried and I sang along. The next day I quit my job. I said, ‘I have to sing!’”
The sisters quickly became a backup group for musicians in the San Francisco area such as Taj Mahal. Once they were warned about performing a musical act that they should support. They started to record their own music.
In addition to music, Anita amassed a remarkable collection of objects that charted Black American history, including artifacts of slavery, segregation, and racist caricatures.
“This reminds me that not everyone loves you and you have to prove them wrong,” Ms. Pointer told Collector’s Weekly. ‘You’re not a buffoon. The artists tried to depict black people in an offensive way, but I like big lips and big booties.”
Mrs. Pointer’s two marriages ended in divorce. Her daughter, Jada, from her first marriage, died of cancer in 2003. June died in 2006 and Bonnie died in 2020. Mrs. Pointer is survived by her sister Ruth; her brothers, Aaron and Fritz; and a granddaughter.
As she got older, Mrs. Pointer never fell in love with her old music, she just blasted it in her car and sang along. The band continued to perform well into the 21st century.
“It’s not a vulgar show, so you can bring your grandma and you can bring the kids,” Ms. Pointer told the French outlet Metro News in 2007. “They don’t get a corset in their face.”