Today is the first day of Black History Month. Now while many people may moan and complain that we got the short end of the stick by only getting one month out of the year dedicated to us and the shortest month at that. I have always chosen to just be grateful that we are even being acknowledged at all! For me, black history is relevant all year long, so the fact that we only have one month acknowledged by the rest of the world doesn’t bother me at all. My goal for this month is to post something relevant about Black History each day. Some of which everyone may know, some of which may just be important to me and some of which you may be surprised to find out.
She performed as a vocalist in venues such as the Cotton Club and the Apollo Theater. In 1954, she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress and a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for Carmen Jones, and, in 1959, was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for Porgy and Bess.
Many years passed before the entertainment industry acknowledged Dandridge’s legacy. Starting in the 1980s, stars such as Cicely Tyson, Jada Pinkett Smith, Halle Berry, Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston and Angela Bassett (who are all African-American women) acknowledged Dandridge’s contributions to the role of blacks in film.
In 1999, Halle Berry took the lead role of Dandridge in the HBO Movie Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, for which she won an Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a Screen Actors Guild Award. When Berry won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in Monster’s Ball, she dedicated the “moment [to] Dorothy Dandridge, Lena Horne, Diahann Carroll.” For her contribution to the motion picture industry, Dorothy Dandridge has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 671 Hollywood Boulevard.
On September 8, 1965, Dandridge spoke by telephone with friend Geri Branton. Dandridge was scheduled to fly to New York the next day to prepare for her nightclub engagement at Basin Street East. Several hours after her conversation with Branton ended, Dandridge was found dead by her manager, Earl Mills. Two months later a Los Angeles pathology institute determined the cause to be an accidental overdose of an antidepressant. However, an alternative source reported that the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office came to a different conclusion, that: “Miss Dandridge died of a rare embolism—blockage of the blood passages at the lungs and brain by tiny pieces of fat flaking off from bone marrow in a fractured right foot she sustained in a Hollywood film five days before she died.” She was 42 years old.
Biography courtesy of www.wikipedia.org
Even though Dorothy Dandridge was taken from the world so suddenly, Her legacy and her contributions to African American music and film will continue to live on.