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1. Ralph Waldo Tyler, journalist, Auditor-General of the Navy and World War I foreign correspondent. The oldest of 12 children, Tyler is believed to have been born in Ohio. He attended elementary and high schools in Columbus, Ohio, studied a year in Baldwin,Missouri, and began teaching school at age 19. Tyler taught himself shorthand while working as a janitor at the “Columbus Evening Dispatch.” He later was given an opportunity to prove his reporting ability. Tyler worked in circulation, business and news departments of the paper and as an assistant to the manager and secretary to the owner. He became successful as a society reporter. He was the first African American foreign war correspondent and the only accredited African American correspondent in World War I. Both African American and White newspapers carried Tyler’s stories.
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2. George Scott, Co-Founder and Baritone member of The Five Blind Boys Of Alabama Gospel Group, George Scott was a founding member, with Clarence Fountain and Jimmy Carter, of the celebrated gospel outfit the Blind Boys of Alabama. His expressive and powerful baritone can be heard on literally hundreds of recordings, including a quartet of Grammy-winning albums: Spirit of the Century (2001), Higher Ground (2002), Go Tell It on the Mountain (2003) and There Will Be a Light (2004). 81 Years ago
3. Unita Blackwell, First Black Female mayor in Mississippi (Mayersville), civil rights activist who was the first African-American woman, and the tenth African-American, to be elected mayor in the U.S. state of Mississippi. Blackwell was a project director for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and helped organize voter drives for African-Americans across Mississippi. Barefootin’, Blackwell’s autobiography published in 2006, charts her activism. 77 Years ago
4. Charley Frank Pride, Country music singer. His smooth baritone voice was featured on thirty-six number-one hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts. His greatest success came in the early- to mid-1970s, when he became the best-selling performer for RCA Records since Elvis Pressley. His chart success and recordings since the late 1980s have been sporadic, but Pride continued touring successfully.
Pride is one of the few Black country musicians to have had considerable success in the largely Caucasian country music industry and the only one to be inducted into the Grand Ole Opry. In 2010, Pride became a special investor and minority owner of the Texas Rangersbaseball club.
5. Wilson Pickett , An R&B/rock and roll and soul singer and songwriter.
A major figure in the development of American soul music, Pickett recorded over 50 songs which made the US R&B charts, and frequently crossed over to the US Billboard Hot 100. Among his best known hits are “In the Midnight Hour” (which he co-wrote), “Land of 1,000 Dances”, “Mustang Sally”, and “Funky Broadway”.
Pickett was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame in 1991
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6. Bertha Knox Gilkey, Founder of Urban Women Inc. Best Known For: Setting up the first tenant-management association in St. Louis, Missouri in 1969 to modernize and improve the conditions of mismanaged public housing projects. Gilkey was a key force in changing welfare administration and was present when Ronald Reagan signed the Housing and Community Development Act of 1987. 61 Years ago
7. Irene Cara, Singer and actress. Cara won an Academy Award in 1984 in the category of Best Original Song for co-writing “Flashdance… What a Feeling.” She is also known for her recording of the song “Fame”, and she also starred in the 1980 film Fame.
8. Vanessa Lynn Williams, A pop/R&B recording artist and actress. In 1983, she became the first woman of African-American descent to be crowned Miss America, but a scandal caused her to relinquish her title early. Williams rebounded by launching a career as an entertainer, earning Grammy, Emmy, and Tony Award nominations.
9. Andre Previn “Bad Moon” Rison, A retired American football wide receiver who played professionally for the National Football League’s Indianapolis Colts, Atlanta Falcons, Cleveland Browns, Green Bay Packers,Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders, and the Canadian Football League’s Toronto Argonauts. Rison was selected to the Pro Bowl five times, from 1990–1993 and once again in 1997.
Rison won a Super Bowl championship with the Green Bay Packers in 1996, scoring the first points of the game on a 54-yard touchdown catch. He also won a Grey Cup championship with the Toronto Argonauts in 2004. He is one of the few players to win professional football championships in both the United States of America and Canada. He was released by the Argonauts during the 2005 CFL season. He holds an NFL record for scoring a touchdown with 7 different teams.
He was a star player at Flint Northwestern High School and in college at Michigan State University. As a Senior at Michigan State, Rison had 30 receptions for 709 yards and 5 TDs.
10. Dana Elaine Owens (born March 18, 1970), better known by her stage name Queen Latifah, is a rapper, actress and singer. Queen Latifah’s work in music, film and television has earned her a Golden Globe award, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, two Image Awards, a Grammy Award, six additional Grammy nominations, an Emmy Award nomination and an Academy Award nomination.