In essence of Black History Month, one Black woman I admire deeply is Dorothy Dandridge. I love her beauty, poise, and how she carried herself. She embodied everything "lady" and class. Not to mention her style. But you know, women knew how to seriously DRESS back then. I love how everything FIT so nicely and was just sharp. That's the word. Women were SHARP back then. In some ways, I felt that they took more pride in how they presented themselves to the world. The details and little things were taken into account and that's one thing I wish our overall generation would care about more.
Dorothy as Carmen in "Carmen Jones"
But anyway, back on topic, Dorothy was the first Black actress to earn an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for her lead in, the adaptation of Bizet's opera "Carmen", "Carmen Jones". She lost it to Grace Kelly but for the Black world, this was a major accomplishment. Go girl! You can imagine how many doors this opened for Black actresses including the ones we see on the silver screen today. That movie is one of my favorites.
Born November 9th, 1922, in Cleveland, OH; Dorothy got her start in show biz when she was a young girl with the group the "Wonder Children" that later became known as the "Dandridge Sisters". The group was made up of herself, her older sister; Vivian, and a girl named Etta Jones. From there she did musicals like Sun Valley Serenade with the Nicholas Brothers where she performed the popular "Chatanooga Choo Choo"
and went on to become a film star as well as a very talented singer/entertainer at the most prestigous night clubs across America.
If you know anything about her personal life, then you know that she lived a very troubled life which ended in her overdosing on antidepressant pills at the crazy young of 42. To learn more about her cinamatic achievements and her life overall and see pictures, www.dorothy-dandridge.com and Dorothy Dandridge-A Life Unfulfilled are good sites to check out.
You can also watch the movie, "Introducing Dorothy Dandridge", starring Halley Berry as Dorothy to learn more about her life as well. As big a fan as I am and I still don't have this movie. LOL. I'm slackin.