1. Coleman Alexander Young, born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He fought as a bombardier-navigator with the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II, elected the first African American mayor of the city of Detroit, Michigan in 1973 serving for an unprecedented five terms. He stepped down as mayor in 1993 at the age of 75.
2. Archie Shepp, renowned avant-garde jazz saxophonist and played with a variety of jazz greats including John Coltrane, Bobby Hutcherson, and Donald Cherry.
3. Patti LaBelle, (Patricia Holt), Singer/Actress, Soul and R&B Diva. She fronted two groups, Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles, which received minor success on the pop charts in the 1960s, and Labelle, which received acclaim and a mainstream breakthrough in 1974 with their song “Lady Marmalade”. She went on to have a solo recording career, earning another U.S. #1 single in 1986 with “On My Own”, a duet with Michael McDonald.
She is renowned for her passionate stage performances, wide vocal range and distinctive high-octave belting. Her biography, Don’t Block the Blessings, remained at the top of The New York Times best-seller list for several weeks. LaBelle has been called the Godmother of Soul, the High Priestess of Good Vibrations and the Queen Of Rock & Soul.
4. Joe Dumars III, Nicknamed Joe D, is a retired basketball player in the NBA, and currently the Detroit Pistons’ President of Basketball Operations. At 6’3″ (190 cm) Dumars could play either shooting guard or point guard on offense and was a highly effective defender. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, Dumars and Isiah Thomas combined to form one of the best backcourts in NBA history. Initially a shooting guard, Dumars moved over to point guard following Thomas’s retirement in 1994, sharing ball-handling duties with Grant Hill. Dumars was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.
5. Greg Briley, nicknamed “Pee Wee”, is a former Major League Baseballplayer who played primarily as an outfielder from 1988–1993. For 2009, he was named the hitting coach for the Kannapolis Intimidators in the Chicago White Sox organization.
6. Dwight Myers, better known as Heavy D, Rapp Artist, Actor, singer and former leader of Heavy D & the Boyz, a hip hop group. Appeared in the television shows A Different World, Roc and Living Single before returning the music charts with Nuttin’ But Love. After appearing in the off-Broadway play Riff Raff at Circle Repertory Company, Heavy D returned to recording with the hit Waterbed Hev. In 2005, the Will Smith movie Hitch played the song “Now That We Found Love” during the ending scene where a wedding party does a line dance, and gave Heavy D & the Boyz a lot of exposure, sending many viewers to the web to find out more about the song and the group.
7. Jerod Mixon, actor. Mixon is perhaps best known for his role portraying the fictional character Weensie in Old School.
8. Clarence Darnell Gilyard, Jr. (born December 24, 1955) is a former American actor and a current college professor who has been featured in movies and television since 1980. He is sometimes credited as Clarence A. Gilyard.
Gilyard is best-known for his roles as Ben Matlock‘s (played by Andy Griffith) second private investigator (and right-hand man) Conrad McMasters, on the 1980s legal drama series, Matlock: (a role he played from 1989 to 1993), as Pastor Bruce Barnes in the Left Behind movie trilogy, and as Cordell Walker’s (played by Chuck Norris) partner and best friend, Texas Ranger James “Jimmy” Trivette, on the 1990s crime drama, Walker, Texas Ranger.