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The first black woman to sing on the radio in the USA, Hattie McDaniel was also much in demand to play benevolent maid/housekeepers in  films of the 1930s and 40s. She was also the first African-American performer to win an Academy Award--for her supporting role as Mammy in "Gone With the Wind" (1939).  When McDaniel was criticized by the NAACP for her penchant for playing servants in films, she reportedly replied: "I'd rather play a maid on film than be force to work as one in real life."

The first black woman to sing on the radio in the USA, Hattie McDaniel was also much in demand to play benevolent maid/housekeepers in films of the 1930s and 40s. She was also the first African-American performer to win an Academy Award--for her supporting role as Mammy in "Gone With the Wind" (1939). When McDaniel was criticized by the NAACP for her penchant for playing servants in films, she reportedly replied: "I'd rather play a maid on film than be force to work as one in real life."

Paul Robeson (1898-1976) went on to become a stellar athlete and performing artist. He starred in both stage and film versions of The Emperor Jones and Show Boat (Ole Man River),  and established an immensely popular screen and singing career. He spoke out against racism and became a world activist, yet was blacklisted during the paranoia of McCarthyism in the 1950s. He was an acclaimed performer known for productions like The Emperor Jones and Othello. He was also an international activist…

Paul Robeson (1898-1976) went on to become a stellar athlete and performing artist. He starred in both stage and film versions of The Emperor Jones and Show Boat (Ole Man River), and established an immensely popular screen and singing career. He spoke out against racism and became a world activist, yet was blacklisted during the paranoia of McCarthyism in the 1950s. He was an acclaimed performer known for productions like The Emperor Jones and Othello. He was also an international activist…

On June 20, 1960 Harry Belafonte won an Emmy Award for his special "Tonight with Harry Belafonte" and became the first African American to win an Emmy Award. #TodayInBlackHistory

On June 20, 1960 Harry Belafonte won an Emmy Award for his special "Tonight with Harry Belafonte" and became the first African American to win an Emmy Award. #TodayInBlackHistory

Don Cornelius, host & producer of    "Soul Train," commited suicide at age 75 on Feb. 1, 2012.

Don Cornelius, host & producer of "Soul Train," commited suicide at age 75 on Feb. 1, 2012.

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