A few Black actresses from 1900s-1980s. Some have shaken the foundation of Old Hollywood, and others have carved out a place in contemporary films.
“I never felt the chance to rise above the role of a maid in Hollywood movies. My color was against me. The fact that I was not ‘hot’ stamped me as either an uppity 'Negress’ or relegated me to the eternal role of stooge or servant. I can sing but so can hundreds of other girls. My ambitions are to be an actress. Hollywood had no parts for me.” Theresa Harris +
“You cannot leave this show! Do you not understand what you are doing?! You are the first non-stereotypical role in television! Of intelligence, and of a woman and a woman of color?! That you are playing a role that is not about your color! That this role could be played by anyone? This is not a black role. This is not a female role! A blue eyed blond or a pointed ear green person could take this role!”. MLK to Nichelle Nichols, who was planning on leaving Star Trek +
“I have never tried to pass for white and never had any desire. I am proud of my race. In Imitation of Life. I was showing how a girl might feel under the circumstances but I am not showing how I felt. I was slightly uncomfortable while making the scene where I stood before the mirror asking, “Am I not white?” No person who strives to be the least bit intelligent should allow a thing like color, something for which none of us is responsible, to mar his life or influence his judgment.” Fredi Washington +
‘Ossie Davis was born in Cogdell, GA, on this date December 18, 1917. The highly successful actor, author, producer, and director both wrote and starred in the Broadway hit Purlie Victorious. Davis has numerous roles on television and in film to his credit.’
“If I could be [remembered]–somebody could think of me and feel encouraged…in some moments of despair. That’s how I would like to be remembered in the recollection, to make the moment more bearable, if not enjoyable.”-Ruby Dee