Fredicka Washington was on her way to being a huge Hollywood star. Born in 1903, she was the daughter of Robert T. Washington, a postal worker, and Harriet "Hattie" Walker Ward, a dancer. I guess both of her parents were "mixed". Which really isn't saying much. So many African-Americans are mixed. But Fredricka's complexion was basically that of a European-American at the time.
She became a dancer for Josephine Baker, everyone should know her. Then after that she was given the opportunity to act in a play with Paul Robeson called "Black Boy".
She starred in various "Black" movies after that. But it a constant challenge because everyone thought she was "White". So for most roles, she actually had to wear makeup to darken her skin.
Then later at 31 years old. . .came her masterpiece. . ."Imitation of Life". A film I need to re-watch this month. In it she played a mixed woman, who passes as "White" to get more opportunities and access to an education. She and her mother have a strained relationship because of that. It was a film so far ahead of its time. It was voted by Time Magazine as one of the most important films on race.
Unfortunately, that did not lead to more opportunities for Fredricka. . .well at least not the kind of opportunities she wanted. After making a film about the issues with "passing", she was offered more roles where film makers wanted her to pass as "White". Fredricka, being the proud "Black" woman she was, refused.
And that's the thing that is astounding to me. She could have lived a life of luxury, fame, riches, etc. All she had to do was deny that she was "Black". But she said no. The weird thing is couldn't even get roles as a "Black" woman. Because it was too troubling to see her in romantic scenes with "Black" men.
So in the end, she just returned to Harlem where she got her start and did theater for "Black" audiences there. Then later on she joined the NAACP and worked to open doors for "Black" actors in Hollywood.
She was an amazing woman. And another heroine who is responsible for the opportunities many folks enjoy today.
"You don't know how it is to look white and be black..." Fredricka Washington "Imitation of Life".
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It's crazy cause alotta blacks today look like her who are mixed and you wouldn't even know know it's like both homies I grew up with mom was a super pale red head and their dad was black af lol but the whole time I thought they were white olive kids lol and they was black the whole time, I never knew until I saw their dad pick them up as kids haha
But it's crazy what you can do being mulatto and with people who have no idea what you're at all. Being black & brown people know I'm black but they often want me to pick sides and I don't hahaha.
Well, this was a long time ago. And in today's society, it is a "mixed" bag. The weirdness of race isn't as mainstream as it once was. So you have some "Black" people who look like;
And some biracial folks who look like;
Hopefully, this trend will continue. . .
Very true it's all set on the genes whoever has the stronger genea prevails but to the racist it's the one drop rule which doesn't make sense because how can you control biology in your head and say one drop just makes you full black, cause they say so hahahaha
The 2nd girl has ejite features just darkskinned lol
@malwins This is why race is so weird.
You can say the same about any African-American.
Jesse Williams. . . a "Black" man