Today was actually going to be about something completely different but then news came of the passing of Jeanette Dubois better known by her stage name Ja’net Dubois.
Most of us know her as the ever fashionable Willona Woods, the best of Florida Evans, adopted mother to arm burn Penny aka Janet Jackson, and all around fun neighbor that made life in the projects more like a community.
As a fellow alum of public housing we all knew a Willona or in some cases a few. There was something about the way she gave life to the character that you can’t help but feel comforted by her. Ms. Dubios seemed like one of your family members.
Not only was she an actress but she gave back to her community. She operated the Ja’net DuBois Academy of Theater Arts and Sciences, which was a performing-arts school for teenagers in Long Island, New York. In 1992, DuBois, Danny Glover and Ayuko Babu co-founded the Pan African Film & Arts Festival in Los Angeles.