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220px-Lena_Horne_1961We talk about the most beautiful black women in Hollywood today all the time, but we figured we need to pay a little homage to the starlets of old Hollywood’s past who wore many of the classic styles that have been revived today first. In a time when black beauty was celebrated even less than it is now in the United States and abroad, there were a handful of black actresses and singers who defied status quo with their beautiful looks, sultry style, and gorgeous voices. While the mainstream is still honoring icons like Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn and Jean Harlow, we wanted to shout out a few of our own and give you some vintage black beauty from old Hollywood to be inspired by.


Nina Mae McKinney

Nina McKinney was one of the first African-American film stars in the United States and British television and she was the first African-American actress to hold a principal role in a mainstream film in 1929’s Hallelujah. Nina’s looks set the beauty standard for women during her time and she became known as the “Black Garbo” in Europe because she was stunningly gorgeous like the Swedish actress Greta Garbo.

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  • lindy

    Love all of them and I dont think I have seen their type of beauty in my lifetime with the exception of a very few.

    Too bad the beauty of Black women is really not showcased even in so called Black media. We and the rest of the world will never really see the depth of Black beauty.

  • binks

    Beautiful iconic game changers, these ladies should never be forgotten.

  • Jasmine

    I loveeee this list!

  • Bronze

    they were all classy. All unique. all beautiful. Love the list.

  • OSHH

    I love the list too. Those women KNEW and were GLAMOUR, style, grace, and elegance.
    Things that are timeless and folk today ought to take a page or two out of them books!

  • Bridget

    ALL were beautiful, elegant and classy.

  • Fox

    CLASSY and made their race proud.

  • Ms. Information

    Bangers of all shades…black women are BEAUTIFUL