1. Clifton Chenier, Zydeco King (Black Snake Blues) was an eminent performer and recording artist of Zydeco, which arose from Cajun and Creole music, with R&B, jazz, and blues influences. He played the accordion and won a Grammy Award in 1983. He also was recognized with a National Heritage Fellowship, and in 1989 was inducted posthumously into the Blues Hall of Fame.
2. James Howard Meredith, the first Black person to be admitted to the University of Mississippi.
3. Eddie Floyd, Soul/R&B singer and songwriter, best known for his work on the Stax record label in the 1960s and 1970s and the song “Knock on Wood” and “California Girl”
4. Willis Reed, retired American basketball player, coach and manager of basketball teams. He spent his entire professional playing career (1964–1974) with the New York Knicks. In 1982, his outstanding record and achievements were recognized by his induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. In 1997, he was voted one of the “50 Greatest Players in NBA History.”
After retiring as a player, Reed served as assistant and primary coach with several teams for nearly a decade, then was promoted to General Manager & Vice President of Basketball Operations (1989 to 1996) for the New Jersey Nets. As Senior Vice President of Basketball, he led them to the NBA Finals in 2002 and 2003.
5. Jimmy Walker, actor and stand-up comedian, known for portraying J.J. Evans on the television series Good Times, which ran from 1974 to 1979. While on the show, Walker’s character was known for the catch phrase, “Dy-no-mite!” which he also used in his mid-1970s TV commercial for a Panasonic line of cassette and 8-track tape players.
6. Erica Fawn Gimpel, television actress. She is best known for her roles on television shows Fame as Coco Hernandez and on Profiler as Angel Brown. She is also known for her major recurring roles on the television shows ERas Adele Newman and on Veronica Mars as Alicia Fennel. She also had an outstanding, if not much acknowledged role, as Semiramis in the hit 1980’s miniseries “North and South”
7. Dikembe Mutombe, professional basketball player, last playing for the Houston Rockets of the NBA. He was the oldest player in the NBA at the time of his most recent season