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Lost Actress of the Silver Screen~ Nina Mae McKinney

Nina Mae McKinney was born in Lancaster, South Carolina on June 12, 1912. McKinney was a stage and film actress. She made her debut on Broadway as a chorus line dancer in the hit musical Blackbirds of 1928 starring Bill "Bojangles" Robinson. She landed a leading role in a movie entitled, "Hallelujah!" Her performance in that movie landed her a five year deal with MGM; making McKinney the first African American actor to land a long-term contract with a major studio. After her five year ended, McKinney left Hollywood for Europe, because there were more opportunities for people of color in the entertainment field. When McKinney returned to America she starred in some "race films" intended for an African American audience. McKinney died in 1967 of a heart attack. She was 55 years old. To read more of Nina Mae McKinney go to

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