1. Sojourner Truth, Abolitionist and women’s rights activist.
3. Shirley Chisholm, (Rep-D-NY) politician, educator, and author. She was a Congresswoman, representing New York’s 12th Congressional District for seven terms from 1969 to 1983. In 1968, she became the first black woman elected to Congress. On January 25, 1972, she became the first major-party black candidate for President of the United States and the first woman to run for the Democratic presidential nomination (Margaret Chase Smith had previously run for the Republican presidential nomination). She received 152 first-ballot votes at the 1972 Democratic National Convention.
4. Ruth Brown, pop and R&B singer-songwriter, record producer, composer and actress noted for bringing a pop music style to R&B music in a series of hit songs for Atlantic Records in the 1950s, such as “So Long”, “Teardrops from My Eyes” and “(Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean“. For these contributions, Atlantic became known as “The house that Ruth built” (alluding to the popular nickname for Old Yankee Stadium).
Following a resurgence that began in the mid-1970s and peaked in the eighties, Brown used her influence to press for musicians’ rights regarding royalties and contracts, which led to the founding of the Rhythm and Blues Foundation. Her performances in the Broadway musical Black and Blue earned Brown a Tony Award, and the original cast recording won a Grammy Award.
5. Sharon Pratt Kelly, formerly Sharon Pratt Dixon and now known as Sharon Pratt, was the third mayor of the District of Columbia from 1991 to 1995. Pratt was the first African-American woman to serve as mayor of a major American city. She is also to date the only woman to have served as mayor of Washington D.C.
Though she campaigned and was elected and inaugurated mayor as Sharon Pratt Dixon, on December 7, 1991, she married James R. Kelly III, a New York businessman, and changed her name to Sharon Pratt Kelly. After their 1999 divorce she was Sharon Pratt.
6. U.S. Rep. Floyd Flake, D-New York, was born in Los Angeles, California. A businessman and minister, Flake established the Allen Christian School and Allen Home Care Agency.
7. Jackie Ross, Soul and Rhythm and Blues Artist (Selfish One), Ross sang gospel music as a child, and performed on a radio show run by her parents, both preachers. After her father died in 1954 she moved to Chicago and was signed to SAR Records by Sam Cooke. Her first single, “Hard Times“, appeared in 1962, and following this she spent time singing in Syl Johnson‘s band.
9. Charles S. Dutton, stage, film, and television actor and director. He is perhaps best known for starring in the television series Roc (1991–1994) and House MD (as the father of Eric Foreman).
10. Donnie Simpson, longtime American radio DJ as well as a television and movie personality. He hosted The Donnie Simpson Morning Show on Washington, D.C. radio station WPGC-FM from March 1993 to January 29, 2010. Simpson is the first urban-format radio personality to have an annual salary over $1 million without being syndicated. He was Billboard’s “1998 Air Personality of the Year”. He is also known by the nickname “Dr. Green Eyes” for his luminous light green eyes. He was BET’s Video Soul DJ.
12. Dexter Scott King, the second son of civil rights leaders the late Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King. His siblings are Martin Luther King III, the Reverend Bernice Albertine King, and the late Yolanda Denise King.