Black History Month: Celebrating Afro-Latina Rosario Dawson

Since it’s Black History Month, we decided to celebrate by highlighting some Afro-Latinas who have made great contributions to the world in more ways than one. Today is dedicated to actress, philanthropist and activist, Rosario Dawson.

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Dawson was born in New York City when her mother, who is Puerto Rican and Afro-Cuban, was only seventeen. They lived with Dawson’s stepdad and younger brother until her parents divorced in 2006. As a child, Dawson appeared on Sesame Street. At 15 years old, she was discovered by Harmony Korine, who decided she was perfect for a part in his new screenplay for the 1995 movie Kids. The rest is history.

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From there, Dawson went on to act in roles of every variety from indie films to huge Hollywood blockbusters like Rent, Men in Black II, and Alexander. She showed off her vocal chops when she teamed up with Prince in 1999 for the re-release of his hit “1999.” Later, she was also featured in an Outkast song.  She even brought her abilities on stage when she co-starred as "Julia" in a revival of "Two Gentlemen of Verona" at the Public Theater's "Shakespeare in the Park."

And her efforts don’t stop there. Dawson is involved with a multitude of charities, including the Lower East Side Girls Club, Global Cool, the ONE campaign, Stayclose.org, and the Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. In October 2008, she lent her voice to the RESPECT! Campaign, a movement aimed at preventing domestic violence. She also co-founded Voto Latino, which encourages Hispanics of all types to register to vote.

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As if she needed to add more projects to her resume, Dawson, along with several other well-know actors, will soon lend her voice to the first person shooter videogame Syndicate. She is also starring opposite Vanessa Hudgens in the upcoming film, “Gimme Shelter,” in which she plays Hudgens’ drug addicted mother.  Now, that’s what we call impressive!

 Image via Getty Images