Old Black Hollywood Stars You Should Know

April 19, 2011  |  
Pearl Bailey in Carmen Jones, 1954.

The golden age of Hollywood wasn’t so golden for black folks, nor was much else in the country at the time. When we think of early films, we often think of black actors and actresses that were relegated to degrading roles such as the Mammy or the tap dancing butler. However, even back then there were black filmmakers and actors that were making quality, complex work that spoke to our struggles and played to black audiences and some White audiences. Here are some black film pioneers that you should know about.

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