1. Thomas Chester, lawyer, politician and editor. editor of the “Star of Liberia” newspaper. politically involved in promoting colonization of Liberia.
2. Martha Graham, Dancer, considered a pioneer in Afro-Haitian dance. She invented a new language of movement, and used it to reveal the passion, the rage and the ecstasy common to human experience.
3. Joe “King” Oliver, was a jazz cornet player and bandleader. He was particularly noted for his playing style, pioneering the use of mutes. Also a notable composer, he wrote many tunes still played regularly, including “Dipper Mouth Blues”, “Sweet Like This”, “Canal Street Blues”, and “Doctor Jazz”. He was the mentor and teacher of Louis Armstrong. His influence was such that Armstrong claimed, “if it had not been for Joe Oliver, jazz would not be what it is today”.
4. William Grant Still, classical composer who wrote more than 150 compositions. He was the first African American to conduct a major American symphony orchestra, the first to have a symphony (his first symphony) performed by a leading orchestra, the first to have an opera performed by a major opera company, and the first to have an opera performed on national television. He is often referred to as “the Dean” of African-American composers. Two of his best known compositions are “Afro-American Symphony” (1930) and “A Bayou Legend” (1941).
5. Clifton Reginald Wharton Sr., diplomat, first black Foreign Service Officer to become chief of a diplomatic mission, and simultaneously the first black chief of a diplomatic mission to a European nation.
6. Lawson Edward “Kamau” Brathwaite, one of the major voices in the Caribbean literary canon. Brathwaite is the 2006 International Winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize, for his volume of poetry, Born to Slow Horses.
7. Minister Louis Farrakhan “Louis Eugene Walcott”, is the leader of the Chicago, Illinois-basedNation of Islam (NOI). He served as the minister of major mosques in Boston and Harlem, and was appointed by the longtime NOI leader,Elijah Muhammad, before his death in 1975, as the National Representative of the Nation of Islam.
9. Janice Rogers Brown, Judge. Was Legal Affairs Secretary to Governor Pete Wilson from 1991-94. In 1994 she was on the Third District Court of Appeal (a post she served until 1996). From May of 1996 Brown has been an Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court. In July of 2003, President George W. Bush nominated Brown for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Civil rights groups, due to her conservative values, challenged this appointment.
10. Harold Eugene Ford, Jr. , Politician and the current chairman of the “centrist” Democratic Leadership Council (DLC). He was a Democratic Party member of the United States House of Representatives from Tennessee’s 9th congressional district, Memphis, TN from 1997 to 2007.
11. Shabba Doo is the stage name of Adolfo Quiñones , Actor, dancer, choreographer, and director. He became one of the founders of the dance style commonly known as locking as a member of The Original Lockers with Toni Basil, Don “Campbellock” Campbell and Fred “Rerun” Berry. Quiñones’ most well known role was the role of Ozone in the 1984 hit cult film, Breakin’ and its sequel, Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo. He appeared in the film Rave – Dancing to a Different Beat, which he also directed.
Quiñones has made guest appearances on TV shows, including The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, Married… with Children, Miami Vice, What’s Happening!!, Saturday Night Live andLawrence Leung’s Choose Your Own Adventure.
Besides his acting and dancing work in film and television, he has served as a choreographer to many singers such as Lionel Richie, Madonna, and Luther Vandross. He was a primary dancer and main choreographer for Madonna’s Who’s That Girl? Tour in 1987. Presently he serves as choreographer for Jamie Kennedy’s new MTV sitcom, Blowin’ Up. He choreographed Three Six Mafia’s performance on the 78th Academy Awards. The group won the Oscar for best original song for their song “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp”.
Quiñones (along with his Breakin’ co-star Michael “Boogaloo Shrimp” Chambers and other dancers from the film) is prominently featured in the music video for Chaka Khan’s 1984 song “I Feel for You”.
12. Antoine McColister, better known by his stage name Ace Hood, is an American rapper signed to DJ Khaled’s label, We The Best Music. Following a football injury in the tenth grade he began to seriously consider rapping as a career. In 2007, he met DJ Khaled and gave him his demo tape. Khaled asked Ace to rap over the instrumental of I’m So Hood and then decided to sign him.