For six decades, Oscar-nominated actress and singer, Diahann Carroll, has blessed us with her enormous talents, breaking down racial barrier after racial barrier, cementing herself and her legacy as a pioneer for Blacks, and women, in entertainment.
Carroll has achieved many first such as:
- Becoming the first black woman to win a Tony Award (1962)
- Starring in Julia (1968), the first series on American TV to star a Black woman in a non-stereotypical domestic worker role
- Was the first celebrity to get her own Barbie doll created in her likeness for her character, Julia
Carroll is also a breast cancer survivor, having been diagnosed in the 1990s. Those she was apprehensive about going public with her diagnosis, Carroll went on to be a breast cancer advocate, raising awareness about education and prevention.
Diahann Carroll paved the way, exposing America to another facet of Blackness, helping the world see that Black people were more than just “The Help“, and empowering Black people in seeing themselves in a different light. Though Julia received its fair share of criticism regarding if it were too far removed from the ‘Black experience’ as it related to the Civil Rights Movement taking place at the time and its promoting of a ‘bougie’ black demeanor instead of an activist, Diahann Carroll’s portrayal of Julia was still groundbreaking considering that television had yet to showcase black women in such a light.
Diahann Carroll’s influence is multi-generational and her contributions to the culture will never go unnoticed.
Thank you Queen for never giving up and for always putting up the good fight to make sure that we were seen and respected.
There could only be one…and her name was Diahann Carroll.
Rest in Power!
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