Facebook Twitter

Donate to BlackPast Blog
  • African American History
  • African American History in the West
  • Global African History
  • Perspectives

NOTE: will not disclose, use, give or sell any of the requested information to third parties.

2 + 6 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.

Rock the Vote

NAAAS & Affiliates 27th Joint National Conference

Shop Amazon and help in the Classroom

Randolph, Amanda (1896-1967)

Image Ownership: Public Domain

Amanda Randolph, one of the first black performers to appear consistently on television, was born in 1896 in Louisville, Kentucky. She began performing as a young teenager in Cleveland’s musical comedies and nightclubs. In the 1930s, she toured Europe and performed in several hit musical revues such as Chilli Peppers, Dusty Lane, and Radio Waves.

Randolph began her film career as an actress appearing in Swing (1938), Lying Lips (1939) and The Notorious Elinor Lee (1940) – three of Oscar Micheaux race films, which he routinely created for nearly three decades to appeal to black audiences and offer a truer reputation of black life than most Hollywood productions.

During the 1940s, Randolph and her sister Lillian were featured on the long-running popular radio show Amos n’ Andy. Amanda Randolph also worked on other radio productions such as Kitty Foyle and Big Sister. During the 1950s, she appeared in several Hollywood movies including No Way Out (1950) and She’s Working Her Way Through College (1952). In 1953, Randolph transitioned to television roles, appearing as the family housekeeper, Louise, on The Danny Thomas Show (also known as Make Room for Daddy). She also became one of the only two members of the Amos n’ Andy radio cast to be accepted for the television version, which was the first television series to feature an all-black cast. Randolph played the mother-in-law of Kingfish until the shows cancelation in 1953.

Randolph died following a stroke in 1967 in Duarte, California. During a film career that spanned three decades, Randolph brought true dignity to the tough-talking character she often depicted despite limited parts to which she was consigned.

Donald Bogle. Blacks in American Film and Television: An Encyclopedia, New York: Garland Publishing, 1988); Darlene C. Hine and Fenella MacFarlane, Black Women in America: A Historical Encyclopedia. Vol. II, (Brooklyn, NY: Carlson Publishing Inc. 1993); Edward Mapp, Directory of Blacks in the Performing Arts, (Metuchen, New Jersey: Scarecrow Press Inc., 1978).


Independent Historian

Entry Categories:

Copyright 2007-2017 - v3.0 NDCHost - California | | Your donations help us to grow. | We welcome your suggestions. | Mission Statement is an independent non-profit corporation 501(c)(3). It has no affiliation with the University of Washington. is supported in part by a grant from Humanities Washington, a state-wide non-profit organization supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the state of Washington, and contributions from individuals and foundations.