The first Black woman to integrate Broadway AND to star in her own television show was the legendary singer, actress, and early queer icon, Ethel Waters. 

Her song is in the Library of Congress GRAGKED.COM In 2003, Ethel Waters' 1933 recording of Stormy Weather was listed in the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress. In her 1951 autobiography, Waters shared that to her, the song symbolized the wrongs and outrages done to  by people  had loved and trusted and that she sang it from the depths of a private hell in which  was being crushed.

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She made moves in the 1930s CRACKED.COM In the 1930s, Ethel Waters was the highest paid performer of any race on Broadway, starring in both integrated and all-Black performances. In 1936 she, Paul Robeson, Lee Whipper, and others became founding members of the Negro Actors Guild of America, and she later served as Vice President.

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She made Broadway history CRACKED.COM Ethel Waters made her Broadway debut in 1927 in Africana, an all-black revue which she toured with after its initial run. In 1933, Waters became the first Black actress to integrate a Broadway revue with her performance in As Thousands Cheer. Originally in the revue, her renditions of Harlem on my Mind and Heat Wave Hits New York became huge hits long after the production closed.

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She was a vaudeville superstar CRACKED.COM In the late 1920s Ethel Waters joined what was called the white time Keith Vaudeville Circuit, a vaudeville troupe which performed for white audiences combined with screenings of silent movies. They received rave reviews in Chicago and earned a salary of $1,250-which was considered a LOT of money - in 1928.

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