Pioneer Women: Black Entertainers Who Did It First

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  • Ethel Waters
  • Whitney Houston
  • Ella Fitzgerald
  • Dorothy Dandridge
  • Hattie McDaniel
  • Beyonce, Vanessa Williams
  • Cheryl Boone Isaacs
  • Halle Berry
  • Beyoncè
  • Tyra Banks
  • Aretha Franklin
  • Vanessa Williams
  • Esther Rolle
  • Cicely Tyson
  • Beverly Johnson

Hattie McDaniel

Gone With the Wind didn't exactly move race relations forward in America, but the film was responsible for at least one breakthrough: Hattie McDaniel became the first African-American to win an Academy Award.

(Photo: John D. Kisch/Separate Cinema Archive/Getty Images)

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