1. Charles Henry Turner, Biologist and Educator, The innovative experimental techniques and ingenious devices that Turner developed to carry out his work were admired and often emulated by other scientists. His reputation for accuracy and thoroughness resulted in several invitations to contribute annual literature reviews on insect behavior, vertebrate and invertebrate behavior, tropisms, and other topics to Psychological Bulletin and Journal of Animal Behavior.
2. Charles W. Follis, a.k.a “The Black Cyclone,” first African-American professional football player. He played for the Shelby Blues of the “Ohio League” from 1902 to 1906. On September 16, 1904, Follis signed a contract with Shelby making him the first African-American contracted to play professional football. He was also the first black catcher to move from college baseball onto a black professional baseball team.
3. Lil Hardin Armstrong, Pianist and vocalist, the most prominent woman in early jazz. She played piano, composed, and arranged for most of the important Hot Bands from New Orleans. While working at a music store in Chicago, she was invited to play with Sugar Johnny’s Creole Orchestra, from there she went to Freddie Keppard’s Original Creole Orchestra, and then led her own band at the Dreamland Cafe at 3520 South State Street in Chicago.
4. Robert Earl Jones, actor, The Cotton Club, The Sting, The Gospel At Colonus, the father of actor James Earl Jones.
5. Varetta Dillard, Rhythm and Blues artist from the 50’s, Varetta Dillard was one of the great unknown blues shouters of the 1950s. A two-time winner of the Apollo Theater’s amateur competition, she recorded solo and as a part of a duo that she shared with vocalist/pianist H-Bomb Ferguson. Signed by Savoy in 1951, her singles included “Easy Easy Baby” in 1952 and “Mercy, Mr. Percy,” her theme song, the following year.
7. Johnny Bristol (John William Bristol), songwriter and record producer for the Motown label in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Wrote and the male vocals for “Someday We’ll be together” by the Supremes.
8. Dennis Edwards, Rhythm and blues Artist (The Contours, later The Temptations), soul and R&B singer, most noted for being one of Motown act The Temptations ‘ lead singers replacing David Ruffin. “Don’t Look any Further“