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“Carmen Jones helped her, for all too brief a time, to reconfigure her definition of herself. It would be a bonafide triumph that she could take pride in. And once it was released, the various people at the studios in the years to come—the grips, the technicians, the makeup and wardrobe assistants, the extras, and the other stars—would again stop to stare as she came onto the lot for a day’s shoot. Never again, though, would she be viewed as simply “the Colored singer.” She would now be Dorothy Dandridge, a star.”-Donald Bogle

Happy Birthday to the incomparable Ms. Janet Jackson! Janet is photographed paying homage to her idol Dorothy Dandridge as the sultry Carmen Jones. Janet considers Dorothy to be “America’s first African American sex symbol.” The legendary Ms. Janet Jackson will be gracing us will new music and a world tour very soon!

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HAPPY 93RD BIRTHDAY DOROTHY DANDRIDGE

The first Black woman to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role as “Carmen Jones” in 1954. Breakthrough, beauty and brilliance all in one. Her work as an actress, singer and dance continue to inspire Hollywood and women around the world. Her contributions, excellence and vision continue to WOW us. 

According to Jet magazine’s August 19, 1954 issue, Dorothy [Dandridge] was so badly bruised in jumping off a flat car in one of the Carmen Jones film sequences that she had to wear makeup on her arms and back to hide the healing scars. “The chase sequence itself was shot on location in Simi Valley, California, where [Harry] Belafonte was required to pursue [Dorothy] Dandridge while the freight train was actually moving. The two then had to fall down a rocky hill. Surprisingly, the actors performed their own stunts, which added to the film’s realism and excitement. It was a dangerous and difficult sequence to do.”-Donald Bogle