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Amazing African-American Actors by Jeff C. Young

By Jeff C. Young

Author Jeff C. younger offers brief biographies of ten influential African-American actors. examine the demanding situations and triumphs of actors akin to Ossie Davis and Halle Berry. each one brief biography ends with a quick timeline of the person's existence and achievements.

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At that time, the movie industry engaged in a practice known as blacklisting. Because of their political beliefs, many actors, screenwriters, producers, and directors were prevented from working in movies, television, and radio. For a time, Davis had attended meetings of the Young Communist League in Harlem. He never became a Communist, but that didn’t keep him and Dee from being blacklisted. They eked out a living by giving presentations in black churches, community centers, and colleges, where they read from the works of notable playwrights, novelists, and poets.

Oscar Micheaux is regarded as the most prolific and successful of the early African-American filmmakers. After raising $15,000 from small investors, Micheaux produced his first film, The Homesteader, in 1919. He went on to make some forty-odd movies between 1919 and 1948. His 1924 film Body and Soul featured the screen debut of noted African-American actor Paul Robeson. Micheaux’s films didn’t shy away from controversial topics and issues. They dealt with interracial marriages, racial prejudice, African Americans passing themselves off as white, hypocritical preachers, and the harassment of African Americans by the Ku Klux Klan.

Chapter 1 Paul Robeson Image Credit: © Library of Congress Paul Robeson in 1942 To call Paul Robeson an actor ignores his many other achievements during an eventful and controversial life. He was also a scholar of languages, an attorney, a gifted athlete, a civil rights activist, and a renowned singer and recording artist. Robeson was an outspoken, opinionated man who didn’t waver from his convictions. For boldly expressing his thoughts and beliefs, he lost both his freedom to travel and his once-promising career as an entertainer.

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