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Harlem, New York City 1940. Photo by Martine Barrat

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Dorothy Dandridge (1922–1965) was the first African American to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress, becoming only the third African American to receive a nomination in any Academy Award category (after Hattie McDaniel and Ethel Waters) at the time.

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Louise Cromwell Brooks (1890-1965) was an American socialite considered to be Washington's most beautiful young woman. She is shown here in 1911 at the age of 21 . She was married to General Douglas MacArthur from 1922-1929.

Nina Mae McKinney was an American actress who worked internationally in theatre, film and television after getting her start on Broadway and in Hollywood. Dubbed "The Black Garbo" in Europe, she was one of the first African-American film stars in the United States and was one of the first African Americans to appear on British television.