Black History Month Fact: Diahann Carroll has appeared in some of the earliest major studio films to feature black casts such as Carmen Jones and Porgy and Bess, she starred in 1968’s Julia, one of the first series on American television to star a black woman in a non-stereotypical role. Later she created the role of Dominique Deveraux on the popular prime time soap opera, Dynasty.
Photo study featuring a young Diahann Carroll (Age 19) by photographer Carl Van Vechten, New York, 1954. Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.
Carl Van Vechten (1880 – 1964) was an American writer and photographer who was a patron of the Harlem Renaissance, promoting many of the major figures of the Harlem Renaissance, including Langston Hughes, Ethel Waters, Richard Wright, and Wallace Thurman.
In the 1930s, Van Vechten began taking portrait photographs. Among the many African Americans he photographed were Marian Anderson, Pearl Bailey, Josephine Baker, James Baldwin, Ruby Dee, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Lena Horne, Mahalia Jackson,Leontyne Price, Paul Robeson, Ada “Bricktop” Smith, and Bessie Smith.