Nothing will motivate a man to move forward faster than knowing what's behind Him.

1. Archie Alexander, mathematician and engineer and an early African-American graduate of the University of Iowa. He was also a governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

2. Sidney Joseph Bechet,   jazz saxophonist, clarinetist, and composer, member of both Duke Ellington’s and Noble Sissle’s orchestras. He had been the greatest jazz soloist of the 1920s along with Louis Armstrong.  He was one of the first important soloists in jazz (beating cornetist and trumpeter Louis Armstrong to the recording studio by several months and later playing duets with Armstrong), and was perhaps the first notable jazz saxophonist. Forceful delivery, well-constructed improvisations, and a distinctive, wide vibrato characterized Bechet’s playing.


3. Arthur James ‘Zutty’ Singleton, percussion musician and bandleader.   In Chicago, Singleton played with Doc Cooke, Dave Peyton, Jimmie Noone, and theater bands, then joined Louis Armstrong’s band with Earl Hines. In 1928 and 1929, he performed on landmark recordings with Louis Armstrong and his Hot Five. 

In addition to Armstrong, in New York Singleton played with Bubber Miley, Tommy Ladnier, Fats Waller, Jelly Roll Morton and Otto Hardwick. He also played in the band backing Bill Robinson.  He returned to New York in 1937, working with Mezz Mezzrow and Sidney Bechet. 

In 1943, he moved to Los Angeles, California, where he led his own band, played for motion pictures, and was featured on Orson Welles’ radio shows. Later he worked with such jazz musicians as Slim Gaillard, Wingy Manone,  Eddie Condon, Nappy Lamare, Art Hodes,Oran “Hot Lips” Page, and Max Kaminsky.

4. Clara Stanton Jones, first African American director of the Detroit Public Library and the first African American president of the American Library Association.

5. Artis Lane,  printmaker, an award-winning   sculptor and painter. Her commissions include a series of bronze portraits for the Soul Train Awards, a bronze portrait of Rosa Parks for the Smithsonian Institution and designing the original logo for theDance Theatre of Harlem. Additionally, her work can be found in the private collections of such prominent people as former President George H. W. Bush, Bill Cosby, Walter Annenberg,Michael Jordan, Gordon Getty, Nelson Mandela and Henry Kissinger.

6. Tania J. Leon,  composer,  professor and  Conductor of music for Concert, Dance & Opera.

7. Shanice, is a singer-songwriter. In 1991, she scored a Top 5 Billboard hit with the single “I Love Your Smile”, followed by another Top 5 single “Saving Forever for You” in 1993.

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