Since there are so many facets of the history that people of African descent have made in this country, I’ve decided to continue my “Black History 365″ series from my poetry blog here on my AfrocentriqueAZ blog. I’ll be posting a new “First Black” every day this month and every Wednesday for the months after that.
In honor of WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH all March the articles will all be about first Black WOMEN… Today’s is Dorothy Dandridge
Dorothy Jean Dandridge (November 9, 1922 – September 8, 1965) was an American actress and singer. Dandridge was the first black actress to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress. She performed as a vocalist in venues such as the Cotton Club and the Apollo Theater.
After many bit parts and a few minor roles, Dandridge landed her first notable film role in Tarzan’s Peril (starring Lex Barker) in 1951. She won her first starring role in 1953, playing a teacher in Bright Road, a low-budget film with a nearly all-black cast, released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
In 1954 she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress and a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for Carmen Jones. In 1959 she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for Porgy and Bess. In 1999 she was the subject of the HBO biopic Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, starring Halle Berry as Dandridge. She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.