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Beloved ‘Daughters of the Dust’ Actress Dies Aged 82



Barbara Jones

Barbara O. Jones, an actress best known for her role in ‘Daughters of the Dust,’ has reportedly died at the age of 82. Jones found her footing in filmmaking during the L.A. Rebellion movement of Black filmmakers at UCLA.

Jones reportedly died in her Dayton, Ohio home on Tuesday. Her death was confirmed by her brother, Raymond Minor, to the Hollywood Reporter.

The late actress also starred in Haile Gerima’s Bush Mama. She also appeared with Muhammad Ali in the 1979 NBC miniseries Freedom Road. The Hollywood Reporter reports on her death,

For Gerima, Jones portrayed an imprisoned woman fighting for social justice in the 36-minute short film Child of Resistance (1973) – the character was inspired by activist Angela Davis – and a welfare recipient in Watts who undergoes an ideological transformation in the filmmaker’s feature debut, Bush Mama (1979). Both films were made at UCLA.

Jones starred as a Ugandan nun questioning her faith in Dash’s 13-minute student film Diary of an African Nun (1977), adapted from an Alice Walker short story.

She then reunited with Dash to play Yellow Mary, a granddaughter who returns one final time in 1902 to her Gullah family’s island home off the coast of Georgia in Dash’s acclaimed feature debut, Daughters of the Dust (1991).

A critical darling, Daughters of the Dust played at Sundance and was the first American feature by an African American woman to receive a general theatrical release. It is on Sight & Sound‘s latest list of the greatest films of all time.

The HollywooD Reporter

Jones spent her life fighting for what she believed in, and for equality of opportunity throughout the United States for all Americans. Her efforts towards racial equality should be celebrated for years to come.

Jones serves as an example to those who wish to fight for what they believe in.

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