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In our last Black Beauties To Know And Love, we wanted to show a little love to actress and singer Marpessa Dawn. If the name doesn’t ring a bell, that’s not a surprise, because Dawn’s career wasn’t the lengthiest. However, her beauty was well-known. With the Oscars airing on Sunday, we thought we’d showcase the talents of Philly-born Dawn, whose acting work helped her film, Black Orpheuswin Best Foreign Film at the 1959 Academy Awards. That same film was a major influence for artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, and according to President Barack Obama, one of his late mother’s favorite movies . Get to know more about her life and legacy.

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