African-American actresses have been visible for decades in Hollywood. Hattie McDaniel is recognized as the first African-American actress to win an Academy Award, Diahann Carroll was the first black actress to appear in her own television series in 1968s series Julia, and Octavia Spencer is the first African-American actress to receive multiple Oscar nominations after winning the award in 2011 for her role in The Help.
These are just a few of the black women you should know that have moved the culture forward and paved the way for the future of black actresses in Hollywood. Some of your favorite actresses are over two decades in the industry and others are rookies in the game, but they’re all extremely successful and continuing to make an impact in film.
So click next to see our list of African-American actresses you should know a more about.