Being recognized for one's work is some of the greatest satisfaction an artist can experience. Winning a Tony Award for example, would bring due praise and recognition for one's hard work. The first black person to ever receive a Tony Award was Juanita Hall. She won Best Supporting Actress for her role in South Pacific which after its incredible success on Broadway, was made into a Hollywood film in which she also starred.
Hall was born in 1901 and grew up having a deep appreciation for music. When she graduated high school, she took a job teaching music to children until she began her studies at Julliard. In the early 1930s, she was a soloist and assistant director for the Hall Johnson Choir. As a rising star, she was a not only a regular on the stage but a regular performer in Greenwich Village clubs. Juanita even starred alongside the Lunts in The Pirate which premiered in 1942.
For the remainder of her career, Juanita continued to sing, and act both live and for recordings. She recorded her own album in 1958, Juanita Sings the Blues which was very well received. Juanita winning a Tony Award would set the stage for all those to come after her.