"Race, what is that? Race is a competition, somebody winning and somebody losing. Blood doesn't run in races! Come on!" Beah Richards
“There are a lot of movies out there that I would hate to be paid to do: some real demeaning, real woman-denigrating stuff. It is up to women to change their roles. They are going to have to write the stuff and do it. And they will.” Beah Richards
Beulah Elizabeth Richardson (1920-2000) was an actress, poet, playwright, author and activist. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for playing Sidney Poitier's mother in Stanley Kramer's "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" in 1967 (via).
Richards was born in Mississippi and graduated in New Orleans. To her, education meant freedom and distance from the life in which she suffered racism "every day of my life". Although she started her career at a time in which black actors and actresses were cast in a "marginally less stereotypical" manner she usually got roles of maids and older women. Born in the 1920s, she played a grandmother in the 1950s. She played Sidney Poitier's mother although they were two to seven years apart (some obituaries listed 1926 as the year of her birth, according to other sources she was born in 1920). She also mothered Danny Glover, James Earl Jones and Eriq La Salle (via).
photo via, a poem by Beah Richards from 1951: link