The Office of Student Activities premiered “Introducing Dorothy Dandridge,” in Jones Hall as part of their I Am Beautiful Campaign for Black History Month. Based off of a book by Earl Mills, the film illustrates the life of Dorothy Dandridge played by Halle Berry.
Dandridge is an actress, singer and dancer, best known for being the first Black woman to be nominated for an Academy Award for her role in Carmen Jones. Her feature film captures hardships of family life, the endurance of racism and her many successes until her unfortunate demise in 1965.
This week the OSA had several events centered around their I Am Beautiful Campaign to really ensure the beauty of black women on campus. Previous events included Pop Poetry by people of Voices, performing pieces about being beautiful and giving out roses for Women Teachers Appreciation Day.
Ciara Hart is a junior social work major from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., who serves as the campus activities board chair. Hart prompted the idea to debut the film from her sorority, SISTUHS, Incorporated.
“Last week we started a Black History Month challenge on Instagram, and a lot of the girls chose Dorothy Dandridge as their African-American woman of inspiration,” said Hart. “I wanted students to grasp the importance of this woman and how she helped pave the way for current black actresses to win Academy Awards. Although she didn’t win, she was the first African-American woman to be nominated,” said Hart.
Cara Hackett is a freshman public relations major from Monticello, Fla., that attended the presentation. “I like that this movie really showcased true black artistry and talent,” said Hackett. “I had never seen the movie before, so I really learned about the impact she made on our community.”
The men of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated were in attendance supporting the OSA event. Since the beginning of the month, they have paired with OSA on numerous events for The 28 Days of Black History.
Ronnie Mackey Jr. is a senior broadcast journalism major from Tallahassee, Fla., and is vice president of The Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated. He will be alongside Hart to coordinate additional film premieres to raise awareness of historical black figures.
“The goal in showing these movies is to broaden student’s knowledge outside of what they’ve learned in grade school textbooks,” said Mackey. “Coming to an HBCU gives us the opportunity to learn about people who’ve had as much influence as Dr. King in other industries.”
The OSA and many other organizations will be hosting events throughout the rest of the month for Black History. To find out more information, students can get a calendar from The Office of Student Activities, or follow their Instagram page, FAMU_OSA.