These days (well, every day if you’re really about that life), the M.O. is to uplift Black people, our stories and our accomplishments. Via Instagram last weekend, actress and entrepreneur Tracee Ellis Ross announced her new partnership with the nonprofit PushBlack in order to highlight outstanding Black people throughout history each and every day.
On Sunday, the Black-ish star posted a photo of the stunning Josephine Premice, a Haitian-American star of stage and screen. She was nominated for two Tony Awards: one in 1957 for her work in Jamaica alongside Lena Horne, and then in 1966 for the off-Broadway play A Hand is on the Gate. She also made appearances on television shows including The Jeffersons, The Cosby Show and A Different World, and in films such as The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman.
“Ms. Premice was at once dressed by Givenchy, sculpted by Alexander Calder and was one of the reigning queens of Manhattan society (unheard of for a Black woman at that time)—yet rejected by casting agents time and time again because of her dark skin,” Ross wrote in the caption accompanying a photo slideshow of Brooklyn native Premice, who died in 2001 at the age of 74. Notably, she is also the mother of television producer, screenwriter and author Susan Fales-Hill.
“Her story is just like many Black actresses of her day: supremely talented, multifaceted and complex, but either pigeonholed into maid roles or just plain overlooked by mainstream Hollywood,” she continues. “So let’s uplift her.”
Ross then directs her followers to start following PushBlack, a Black-led nonprofit offering daily Black history lessons. According to their website, their dedication to sharing stories pertaining to the intersectionality of Black news and history has garnered them more than 4 million subscribers.
The site relies on small donations from readers to keep it up and running, so to learn more, click here.
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