The First Black Woman In Adult Film: Angel Kelly

We're move closer and closer to a society that embraces the experiences of sex workers through advocacy and activism. It’s important to showcase those in sex work who are professionals and dedicated to their success just as any other woman in any career.

 

Pictured: Actress Angel Kelly. Photo received via twitter @AK_Enterprise

According to IMDb, Pamela Moore known as Angel Kelly was born on December 7, 1962, in Lansing, Michigan. She is an actress and director. This is refuted in another article written by Adam Greenwell in which she states, “..I was born in Memphis.”

Although we are not given much information of Angel Kelly’s life prior to her career in the adult film industry, author Mireille Miller-Young’s book A Taste for Brown Sugar: Black Women in Pornography goes into small detail on how Kelly began her career.

 

Pictured: Actress Angel Kelly. Photo received via twitter @AK_Enterprise

According to Young, Kelly began her career as “an exotic dancer in Lansing, Michigan, and entered pornography to become a headlining dancer in the national gentlemen's club circuit.”  She wanted to get more recognition to increase her earnings as a dancer, so she sought out more scenes to act in. She stated that every act she did, she was the first black feature.

Angel had essentially integrated the adult film industry! Her collegiate education in dancing, along with her acting skills and physique brought the fame that she wished for in the earlier stages of her career. In fact, she garnered so much attention that she went on to become the first black actress to receive a contract with a major production company, signing with Perry Ross’s Fantasy Home Video.

Along with her newly found fame came influence. Prior to her mainstream crossover, many of the roles black adult film stars played were largely stereotypical and degrading!

In A Taste for Brown Sugar, Angel recounts a time where she was cast to play in a film written by Bill Margold where the black actors would eat watermelon and chicken. Angel expressed her outrage by stating that she wanted to be represented better and by personalizing any role that she took and attributing more socially correct characteristics.

Angel Kelly’s career would go on to claim many other accolades and recognition. From being featured in rapper Tupac Shakur’s music video “How Do U Want It,” to becoming the first black woman featured on the cover of the Adult Video News Buyer’s Guide. She appeared in her last film in 1991. On January 12, 2008, Angel Kelly was inducted into the Adult Video News Hall of Fame and the XRCO Hall of Fame the following year.

It was extremely difficult to come by any information regarding Angela Kelly’s life prior to her career in the adult film industry. This is significant because with most women, like Angel Kelly, who are very accomplished within their career field, it is extremely easy to pull up a wiki-bio and receive a thorough account of their entire life. One can't help but think that it's because she’s a sex worker on top of being a black women. We may never get a specific answer, but we can be certain that it is surely due to the censorship of sex work, especially that of black women.