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1. Ruth Gaines-Shelton, Playwright, Best known for prize winning comedy The Church Fight, which was published in Crisis (a publication of NAACP) in May of 1926.
2. Carmen McRae, Jazz Singer, After winning an amateur contest at Harlem’s legendary Apollo Theatre in her hometown New York City, McRae went on to become a noted jazz singer with Earl Hines, Mercer “Duke” Ellington and Benny Carter bands among others and recording more than 20 albums.
3. Leon Huff, Songwriter/Producer (from the duo Gamble and Huff), songwriting and record production team that have written and produced over 170 gold and platinum records. They were pioneers of Philadelphia soul and the in-house creative team for the Philadelphia International record label. On March 10, 2008 the team was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the non-performer category.
4. Robert L. Johnson, businessman, best known for being the founder of television network Black Entertainment Television (BET), and is also its former chairman and chief executive officer. Johnson is currently chairman and founder of RLJ Development and former majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, a National Basketball Association franchise along with rapper Nelly and NBA legend and current majority owner Michael Jordan. In 2001 Johnson became the first African American billionaire, and the first black person to be listed on any of Forbes world’s rich list.
5. Christopher Darden, He was a prosecuting attorney in O.J. Simpson’s murder trial. Christopher left the District Attorney’s office to continue teaching law and later began an acting career.
6. Biz Markie (Marcel Theo Hall), Rapper, DJ, comedian, actor, reality television personality and commercial spokesperson, best known for the single “Just a Friend”, a top-10 hit in 1989.