She was one of the first African-American film stars in the United States and England and starred in the 1929 film Hallelujah!
She would perform antics on her bicycle as a child and acted in school plays.
She was named 'The Black Garbo' in reference to
She was married to Jazz musician, Jimmy Monroe from 1935 to 1938.
She co-starred with actor Paul Robeson in the 1935 film Sanders of the River.