As we honor the history and achievements of Black Americans this month, let's take a look back at 25 times Black women made movie and TV history.
Although the fight against the racial inequities and the systemic racism that is rooted deep in our social fabric is far from over, young Black kids today are in an unprecedented position of being able to see themselves represented in almost every aspect of life. This long-awaited shift in society wouldn't have been possible without the determination and sacrifices of countless Black artists who broke through racial barriers in the film and television industry. And so, as we honor the history and achievements of Black Americans this month, let's take a look back at 25 times Black women made movie and TV history.
Josephine Baker performing in the film, “Zouzou” (1934) is a dream. pic.twitter.com/jP8jYI0GmN— Myles E. Johnson (@rapturemyles) May 14, 2020
Today's Black History Month Hero is Hattie McDaniel. She is the first African American to win an Oscar when she won Best Supporting Actress in 1939 for her role in "Gone with the Wind." Also, she has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her work in radio and film. pic.twitter.com/lehvgA0bmN— Rep. Donald Payne Jr (@RepDonaldPayne) February 8, 2021
Madeline Anderson, 2015. Photograph by Myrna Suarez. pic.twitter.com/tcs4WLrG0J— MUBI (@mubi) August 8, 2020
Day 15: Julia. Though we revere Diahann Carroll's sitcom as the first starring a Black woman not playing a domestic worker, it was not always loved. During its original run it was criticized for being "unrealistic" to Black experiences, even by Carroll herself. #BHM pic.twitter.com/BVfWGpjSsO— M. Haynes (@LooseAsADEUCE) February 15, 2021
DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST (1991) dir. Julie Dash— Criterion Channel (@criterionchannl) February 10, 2021
This lyrical masterwork offers a lush glimpse into the Gullah people and Black womanhood. Dash’s rapturous vision — as writer, director, and producer — and influence is undeniable. https://t.co/IWptflT4uO pic.twitter.com/vPFlcM9EcI
BLACK HISTORY FACT#1:Viola Davis became the first black woman to win the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series pic.twitter.com/9wJ4nbiWtD— NGHS ASO (@nghsASO) February 4, 2017
Ava DuVernay (@ava) is an essential voice in our industry. In addition to her groundbreaking series WHEN THEY SEE US, and films 13TH and SELMA, she became the first nonwhite woman to direct a film with a production budget of more than $100 million with 2018's A WRINKLE IN TIME. pic.twitter.com/0xfQmTtfuw— TIFF (@TIFF_NET) June 3, 2020
CONGRATS to Oprah Winfrey , Producer of Oscar Nominated- Best Picture- Selma- Praying for the WIN. pic.twitter.com/44XqTuEXRi— Carolyn Washington (@sweetcarolineaa) January 15, 2015
R is for Robin Thede (@robinthede) In 2015, she became the first Black woman to be head writer for a late-night talk (The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore) Her show, The Rundown with Robin Thede on BET makes her the 5th black woman to host of a late-night show #blackhistorymonth pic.twitter.com/SK0TZTJyGq— micia (@DeMiciaValon) February 19, 2018