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Irma P. Hall (born June 3, 1935) is an African American actress who has appeared in numerous films and television shows since the 1970s. She is best known for playing matriarchal figures in the films A Family Thing, Soul Food and The Ladykillers.

Nina Mae McKinney - 1935 - Stage, musical and film actress who was doing her thing in Hollywood before it became fashionable for black women. Description from I searched for this on

Teresa Graves - (January 10, 1948-October 10, 2002 ). American singer and actress who made history as being the first African American woman to star in her own television show ‘Get Christie Love!’. She was nominated for a Golden Globe in 1975 for the title role.

RUTH ODOM BONNER, DAUGHTER OF A SLAVE, OPENED NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY AND CULTURE [VIDEO] - Ruth’s father, Elijah Odom, was born into servitude in Mississippi. He was born a slave. As a young boy, he ran to his freedom. He lived through Reconstruction and he lived through Jim Crow. But he went on to farm, and graduate from medical school and raise a family.

Vénus & Hottentote : Sarah Bartman - Carole Sandrel, Jean-Denis Bredin, 2010

Marpessa Dawn (January 3, 1934 — August 25, 2008), also known as Gypsy Marpessa Dawn Menor was an American-born French actress, singer, and dancer. Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania of African-American and Filipino heritage,[1] she is best-remembered for her role as “Eurydice” in the film Black Orpheus. She and her fellow lead from that film, Brazilian actor Breno Mello, died just 42 days apart in 2008, both from heart attacks.  (Wikipedia)