I guess I'm revealing my age here but since around the age of eight or nine, my favorite Black Actress has always been Hattie McDaniel who played a house servant at Twelve Oaks.
She has always reminded me of two people who were instrumental in my life. The first was Dora (who unlike Hattie was quite short and as thin as a rail), who ranks in the top three of the most marvelous people I ever met. Dora, in actuality, raised my father as his mother was always prancing around Europe as her husband worked. When my twin and I came along, Dora, who was then in her upper seventies, helped Mother with us and I loved (quite obviously) her as much as my own mother, something that strangely didn't upset my mother but rather pleased her to a huge extent. Dora lived well into her nineties. The other lady didn't come along until I was a teenager. Carris Robinson (who actually was about the size of Hattie but was much prettier, worked in the high school cafeteria. I absolutely worshipped the ground she walked on and she loved me without reservation. I was so close to her that mother didn't inform me that she had died until after her funeral because even though Fran and I didn't have the money, I would have been back in Tennessee within 12 hours of notification. One thing I'll never forget about Carris was that the term "Black" for people of color, was then coming into vogue. She absolutely despised the term. I can remember her quote as if it was uttered this very morning. The quote was, "Todd, no one had best ever call me a 'black' woman because the word 'black' denotes an absence of color and honey, if there's anything I have, it's color!" She actually favored the term "colored." God love her, she was quite "politically incorrect" for the times.
Ah, the memories!