From Associated Press:
Dorothy Dandridge was the first black woman nominated for a Best Actress Oscar. Almost a half century passed before another black woman — Halle Berry — won the award.
They and three others — Pam Grier, Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey — are subjects of the new book "Divas on Screen: Black Women in American Film."
"These women have pushed the racial boundaries for audiences, setting new standards for beauty and body type," said author Mia Mask.
She took on the book because, while black male stars are now enjoying huge success, little has been written about their female counterparts — as performers who can headline a film, said Mask, who teaches film and drama at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.