Saturday, February 9, 2013

Black Women in History: Black Princess, Anika Noni Rose

Photo from
Every girl dreams of being a princess, for Tony award winning dream-girl Anika Noni Rose that all came true when she became the voice of Tiana, the first African American Disney Princess. The opportunity of achieving the dream of becoming a Broadway diva, Television star, or breaking the bank as a Box office film star, is far more attainable now than ever. We still have a long way to go, but Actresses like Anika Noni Rose are a prime example of the changing faces in Hollywood.

Anika Noni Rose was born September 6, 1972 in Bloomfield, Connetitcut.  Much like myself Ms. Roses passion for acting developed after participating in a high school theater production, Fame.  A graduate of Florida A & M University and a participant in a program at American Conservatory Theater, Ms. Roses' career really did not take off until three months after she moved to New York, after a chance role in the Broadway production of Footloose.
Ms. Rose went on to join the cast of several on and off-Broadway shows. Some of these shows included  productions of Purlie, Eli's Comin' and the musical Caroline, or Change, for which she won several awards including a Tony for Best Featured Actress in a Musical.

In 2006 Anika Noni Rose, got the film role of a lifetime co- starring in the movie Dreamgirls with Beyonce Knowles and Jennifer Hudson. Dreamgirls did not halt Ms. Roses' stage career, for in 2008 she recieved rave reviews for her performance in the first all African American cast of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof with her portrayal of Maggie the Cat. An article in the New York Times stated that, "Ms. Rose more than holds her own. She pretty much runs the show whenever she’s onstage, and when she’s not, the show misses her management."

Photo from majicatl,com
There are truly no limitations for Anika Noni Rose , beating out Alicia Keys, who directly contacted Disney studios, Tyra Banks, and her Dreamgirls co-star Jennifer Hudson, to voice the role of Princess Tiana. (Young Princess Tiana was voiced by Elizabeth M. Dampier.) Ms. Rose is often seen with a smile on her face, and a joyous personality. When asked about voicing Tiana by a reporter for NPR, "I think it's a wonderful thing to not to have to throw the towel over your head to create some hair that matches the television screen."

Princess Tiana is not only the first African American Disney Princess, she is only the second American Princess.  One of the most beautiful things to me about Princess Tiana is that she looks like the average black girl and carries a powerful image behind her.  When asked  in an interview for an Atlanta based radio station about the lessons that she hoped people learned from The Princess and the Frog, Ms. Rose said, "That would be from my grandmother: If it is to be, it is up to me. There is no defeat until you concede. If there is something that we want to do in life, do it because you can. You put your mind into it and you put your heart into it and make it happen. An important thing in the movie for women because we are taught to work so hard, is to recognize the beauty around you. To take a break and don’t forget to enjoy life...."

Voicing Princess Tiana is only a small feat, in what is sure to be a long career for Anika Noni Rose.  Most recently Ms. Rose scored a co-starring role in For Colored Girls, an adaptation of Ntozake Shange's Choreopeom For Colored Girls Who've Considered Suicide When the Rainbows Not Enuf.   From Black Princess to seductive Maggie the Cat, Anika Noni Rose is truely a force to be reckoned with, Hollywood she is here to stay.


The Sidebun: Okay so if you haven't noticed I happen to like buns. Ms. Rose has frequented this style several times on the red carpet.  In my opinion one of her best looks, especially with the side swoop that adds a little extra flare.  Ms.Rose has also done the oversized crown bun, around the time that the Princess and the Frog came out, similar to her character Tiana, which looks fabulous as well.

Bangs galore: Ms. Rose has bangs with many of her looks.  These curly bangs provide a hint of understated sensuality, while keeping it classy.
Thank you so much for stopping by, don't forget to check out my other post in the series "Black Women in History" 

Peace and Love,

Najeema Iman, I AM Curly Locks
"I believe in Kingdom blogging!"

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