Fanny Belle DeKnight (Fannie Belle Johnson)

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Richmond, Virginia, USA
An African-American veteran performer who struggled in vain to build a film career following a top role in an early all-black musical, Fannie Belle DeKnight found herself in a dead end situation trapped in an unflattering, stereotyped role and her film career went nowhere. Best known for her benevolent, upbeat character of Mammy in the King Vidor musical Hallelujah (1929), the first all-black feature film, she made only one more film, the musical short A Rhapsody in Black and Blue (1932) starring Louis Armstrong. Read more...