Fredricka Washington; Actress Worked for Equal Rights
Fredricka (Fredi) Washington, 90, a pioneering black actress of stage and screen who worked for equal rights in the entertainment industry. Miss Washington began her career as a nightclub dancer in the early 1920s and later toured Europe in a dance act. She worked in early African American musicals such as “Shuffle Along” and “Black Boy.” Her films included “Black and Tan Fancy” with Duke Ellington in 1929, “The Old Man and the Mountain” and “The Emperor Jones” in 1933, “Imitation of Life” in 1934 and a revival of “Porgy and Bess” in 1943. Miss Washington was a founder of the Negro Actors Guild in 1937 and served as its executive secretary. She also wrote criticism and a column for a New York weekly paper, The People’s Voice, which was published by her brother-in-law, Rep. Adam Clayton Powell Jr. On Tuesday in Stamford, Conn., of pneumonia.