25 Dorothy Dandridge Quotes To Inspire Breaking Barriers

Enjoy these Dorothy Dandridge quotes from one of the first African American actresses to succeed significantly in Hollywood. 

As you will learn, Dandridge is known for breaking down racial barriers and paving the way for future black actresses. 

Tell us your favorite quote in the comment section.

What are the benefits of reading Dorothy Dandridge’s quotes?

As a trailblazer for African American women in Hollywood, Dorothy Dandridge’s quotes will inspire you to follow your dreams despite facing overwhelming struggles and adversity.

Dandridge began her career as a singer and performer in nightclubs in the 1930s. 

She appeared with her sister Vivian, and their act was called “The Dandridge Sisters.”  

Finding success as a singer, she went on to have a fruitful career in Hollywood.

Dorothy starred in several films, including:

  • Carmen Jones (1954)
  • Island in the Sun (1957)
  • Porgy and Bess (1959)

She is best known for her role in Carmen Jones, where she led an all-black cast and earned critical acclaim. 

For her performance as Jones, Dandridge became the first African American woman to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress. 

She inspired other black women and actresses trying to break into the movie industry and proved it was possible to succeed in a predominantly white business. 

Despite her success, Dandridge faced many obstacles along the way.

She suffered significant discrimination in the film industry and had to fight for roles that weren’t stereotypical or demeaning.

She also suffered from personal problems that made her life tumultuous at times, and tragically, Dandridge died of an overdose in 1965.

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Dorothy Dandridge will forever be remembered as a talented actress who changed the image of black women on screen and blazed the trail for diversity in Hollywood. 

Enjoy these Dorothy Dandridge quotes!

Dorothy Dandridge quotes about being a black actress

1. “I can’t play a slave.” — Dorothy Dandridge

2. “If I were white, I could capture the world.” — Dorothy Dandridge

3. “There just aren’t that many parts for a black actress.” — Dorothy Dandridge

4. “I wasn’t fully accepted in either world, black or white.” — Dorothy Dandridge

5. “Carmen Jones was the best break I’ve ever had. But no producer ever knocked on my door.” — Dorothy Dandridge

Inspirational Dorothy Dandridge quotes

6. “Avoid popularity. It has many snares and no real benefit.” — Dorothy Dandridge

7. “I believe in living today. Not in yesterday, nor in tomorrow.” — Dorothy Dandridge

8. “If one person in a thousand criticized me while all the others cheered, I didn’t hear the cheers.” — Dorothy Dandridge

9. “Have you ever caught sight of yourself by accident and you see yourself from the outside? That’s who you really are.” — Dorothy Dandridge

10. “My mother taught me that nothing worthwhile is gained without hardship or determination, and I contribute whatever success I have had to her.” — Dorothy Dandridge

Best Dorothy Dandridge quotes

11. “Somehow, people just like to look at me.” — Dorothy Dandridge

12. “Guess I wasn’t black enough to lead the tribe.” — Dorothy Dandridge

13. “Not me. I’m staying young and beautiful until the day I die!” — Dorothy Dandridge

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14. “It (prejudice) is such a waste. It makes you logy and half-alive. It gives you nothing. It takes away.” — Dorothy Dandridge

15. “The American Dream is a term that is often used but also often misunderstood. It isn’t really about becoming rich or famous.” — Dorothy Dandridge

Dorothy Dandrige quotes about who she is

16. “I have always been a rebel, an outsider.” — Dorothy Dandridge

17. “I don’t stand for anything. I just stand for myself.” — Dorothy Dandridge

18. “Success for me is not being pushed into a mold that I’m not comfortable in.” — Dorothy Dandridge

19. “I want to be thought of as a full-fledged actress who happened to be black, not a black actress.” — Dorothy Dandridge

20. “I have always tried to present myself as the woman I am, although sometimes my motives have been misconstrued.” — Dorothy Dandridge

Dorothy Dandridge quotes about being a black woman

21. “I’m not afraid of being black, I’m proud to be black.” — Dorothy Dandridge

22. “I’m a woman who wants to be loved for herself, not for her color or her body.” — Dorothy Dandridge

23. “I never want to be anything but me, and I never want to be anything different from what I am.” — Dorothy Dandridge

24. “My beauty is not just physical. It is the whole package – my talent, my intelligence, and my heart.” — Dorothy Dandridge

25. “I’m not a stereotype. I’m not somebody’s little black girl, somebody’s mammy, somebody’s servant. I’m a woman, and I’m a star.” — Dorothy Dandridge

Dandridge inspired our favorite modern actresses 

Many acclaimed African American actresses of the modern day have revered Dorothy Dandridge as a pivotal inspiration for their careers. 

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Halle Berry has often spoken about how Dandridge inspired her to follow her dreams and succeed in Hollywood. 

Berry won an Academy Award for Best Actress in 2002, becoming the first black woman to do so since Dandridge’s nomination in 1955.

Angela Bassett also cited Dandridge as a role model and inspiration for her acting career. 

She even portrayed Dandridge in a biopic called “Introducing Dorothy Dandridge” in 1999, which earned her critical acclaim.

Other actresses, including Viola Davis and Lupita Nyong’o, have praised Dandridge for her talent and bravery in the face of adversity and referenced how Dandridge’s legacy as a pioneering black actress influenced their careers in Hollywood.

Tell us your favorite quote in the comments section!

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Lia works as a meditation teacher, mentor, and spiritual guide for anyone seeking lasting happiness and fulfillment. After earning a bachelor's degree in health sciences from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, she spent 17 years as an entrepreneur in the food service industry. It was from fulfilling leadership and management duties in this industry that Lia became interested in what makes and keeps people happy. In her quest to uncover the golden rules of lasting happiness, she traveled to India and studied meditation at Ekam-Oneness, A World Center For Enlightenment, and then became a Certified Meditation Instructor with Chopra Global in 2020. Today, Lia combines her knowledge of science and spirit in classes and workshops on meditation and science-based spirituality practices. She writes to share information and insights about meditation, happiness, personal growth, healing, and self-discovery. Lia lives with her family in Montana, where she enjoys hiking, snowboarding, adventuring, and reveling in the beauty of the natural world.
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