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Race Film Actresses

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African-American Actresses During the Silent Era (1920s)
The silent era actresses were paving the way for African-American actresses to come. Many actresses during this period had short careers, but others were fortunate enough to be a part of trailblazing studio companies such as Lincoln Motion Picture Company, Micheaux Productions, Reol Productions, and Norman Film Manufacturing Company. These companies were employing African-American actresses in roles that were non-stereotypical for them. Josephine Baker did not appear in Race Films, but was a prolific actress in a few French films. Evelyn Preer was probably most known as she did both Race films and a few films in Hollywood.

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Flo Clements
Within Our Gates (1920)
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Mercedes Gilbert
Body & Soul (1925)
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Iris Hall
The Symbol of the Unconquered (1920)
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Orine Johnson
Eleven P.M. (1928)
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Kathryn Boyd
The Flying Ace (1926)
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Lucia Lynn Moses
The Scar of Shame (1927)
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Stella Mayo
Regeneration (1923)
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Evelyn Preer
Within Our Gates (1920)
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Theresa Julia Russell
Body & Soul (1925)
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Ann Kennedy
The Scar of Shame (1927)
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Pearl McCormack
The Scar of Shame (1927)
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Unknown Actress - character: May, in Eleven P.M. (1928)
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Ethel Smith
Ten Nights in a Barroom (1928)
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Josephine Baker
Siren of the Tropics (1927)
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Arline Mickey
Ten Nights in a Barroom (1928)
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Myra Burwell
Ten Nights in a Barroom (1928)
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Anita Thompson
By Right of Birth (1921)
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Anita Bush
The Crimson Skull (1922)
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Edna Morton
The Secret Sorrow (1921)
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Roberta Hyson
Oft in the Silly Night (1929)
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Isabel Washington
St. Louis Blues (1929)
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Bessie Smith
St. Louis Blues (1929)
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African-American Actresses During the 1930s

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Dorothy Van Engle
Swing! (1938)
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Ethel Moses
Birthright (1938)
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Eunice Brooks
The Exile (1931)
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Grace Smith
The Girl From Chicago (1932)
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Laura Bowmen
The Veiled Aristocrats (1932)
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Lucile Lewis
The Veiled Aristocrats (1932)
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Starr Calloway
The Girl From Chicago (1932)
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Tressie Mitchell
Ten Minutes To Live (1932)
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Willor Lee Guilford
Ten Minutes To Live (1932)
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Hazel Diaz
Birthright (1938)
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Louis Beavers
Imitations of Life (1934)
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Edna Mae Harris
Lying Lips (1939)
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Consuelo Harris
Harlem on the Prairie (1937)
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Gloria Press
God's Step Children (1938)
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Nina Mae McKinney
The Black Network (1936)
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Lena Horne
The Duke is Tops (1938)
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Fredi Washington
Imitations of Life (1934)
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Jeni Le Gon
Double Deal (1939)
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Frances Redd
Midnight Shadow (1939)
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Cora Green
Swing! (1938)
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Amanda Randolph
The Black Network (1933)
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Alice B. Russell
God's Step Children (1938)
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Bee Freeman
Murder in Harlem (1935)
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Ida James
The Devil's Daughter (1939)
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Trixie Smith
Birthright (1938)
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Vivianne Baber
The Black King (1932)
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Mary Jane Watkins
The Black King (1932)
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Eslanda Robeson
Borderline (1930)
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Theresa Harris
Baby Face (1933)
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Cleo Herndon
Dark Manhattan (1937)
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Elisabeth Welch
Song of Freedom (1936)
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Mae Turner
Spirit of Youth (1938)
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Mae E. Johnson
Keep Punching (1939)
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Rosalie Lincoln
Two-Man Gun From Harlem (1938)
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Marguerite Whitten
Two-Man Gun From Harlem (1938)
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Francis E. Williams
Lying Lips (1939)
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Louise Cook
The Exile (1931)
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Alma Smith
Harlem in Heaven (1932)
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Anise Boyer
Harlem in Heaven (1932)
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Elyoce Gist
Heaven-Bound Travelers (1935)
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African-American Actresses During the 1940s

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Billie Holiday
New Orleans (1947)
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Cathryn Caviness
The Blood of Jesus (1941)
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Juanita Riley
The Blood of Jesus (1941)
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Reather Hardeman
The Blood of Jesus (1941)
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Marie Cooke
Boarding House Blues (1948)
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Moms Mabley
Boarding House Blues (1948)
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Betti Mays
Boy! What A Girl! (1947)
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Sybil Lewis
Boy! What A Girl! (1947)
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Shelia Guyse
Sepia Cinderella (1947)
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Geraldine Brock
The Girl in Room 20 (1946)
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Francine Everett
Dirty Gertie from Harlem U.S.A. (1946)
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Katherine Moore
Dirty Gertie from Harlem U.S.A. (1946)
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Gladys Snyder
Gang War (1940)
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Suzette Harbin
Look-Out Sister (1947)
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Myra D. Hemmings
Go Down, Death! (1945)
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Montgne McCormy
Go Down, Death! (1945)
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Mrs. F.D. Benson
The Girl From Room 20 (1946)
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Margery Moore
The Girl From Room 20 (1946)
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Norma Johnson
Go Down, Death! (1945)
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Irene Campbell
Go Down, Death! (1945)
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Unknown Actress
Go Down, Death! (1945) & The Girl From Room 20 (1946)
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Vera Burelle
The Notorious Elinor Lee (1940)
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Hadda Brooks
Boogie Wooogie Blues (1948)
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Billie Allen
Souls of Sin (1949)
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Louise Jackson
Souls of Sin (1949)
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Savannah Churchill
Miracle in Harlem (1948)
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Myra Johnson
Ain't Misbehavin' (1941)
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African-American Actresses During the 1950s

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Dorothy Dandrige
Carmen Jones (1954)
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Ruby Dee
St. Louis Blues (1958)
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Pearl Bailey
Carmen Jones (1954)
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Eartha Kitt
St. Louis Blues (1958)
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Marpessa Dawn
Black Orpheus (1959)
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Lourdes de Oliveira
Black Orpheus (1959)
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Beah Richards
Take A Giant Step (1959)
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Estelle Hemsley
Take A Giant Step (1959)
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Paulene Myers
Take A Giant Step (1959)
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Royce Wallace
Take A Giant Step (1959)
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Ellen Holly
Take A Giant Step (1959)
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Carmen De Lavallade
Odds Against Tomorrow (1959)
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Cicely Tyson
Carib Gold (1957)
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Diahann Carroll
Carmen Jones (1954)
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Kim Hamilton
Odds Against Tomorrow (1959)
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Mildred Joanne Smith
No Way Out (1950)
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Olga James
Carmen Jones (1954)

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