1. Thomas Green (Blind Tom) Bethune, Musical Pordigy on the piano. He had numerous original compositions published and had a lengthy and largely successful performing career throughout the United States. During the 19th century, he was one of the most well-known American performing pianists.
2. Bill (Bojangles) Robinson, Famous Tap Dancer (Created Stair tap Dance), actor of stage and film. Audiences enjoyed his understated style, which eschewed the frenetic manner of the jitterbug in favor of cool and reserve; rarely did he use his upper body, relying instead on busy, inventive feet and an expressive face.
A figure in both the Black and White entertainment worlds of his era, he is best known today for his dancing in a series of films during the 1930s.
3. Dorothy Burnett Wesley, member of Phi Beta Kappa, the first African American woman to receive a Masters of Library Science degree from Columbia University, Author several African American historical works. Long-time librarian at the Howard University Moorland-Spingarn Research Center. Responsible for developing it into one of the world’s largest collections of material authored by and about people of African descent.
4. Miles Davis (Dewey Davis III), Jazz Legend, trumpeter, bandleader, and composer. Widely considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, Miles Davis was, with his musical groups, at the forefront of several major developments in jazz music, including bebop, cool jazz, hard bop, modal jazz, and jazz fusion.
5. K.C. Jones, retired NBA player and coach. Jones played college basketball at the University of San Francisco and, along with Bill Russell, led the Dons to two NCAAchampionships in 1955 and 1956. Jones also played with Russell on the 1956 United States men’s Olympic basketball team, which won the gold medal at the Melbourne Summer Games. During his playing days, he was known as a tenacious defender. Jones spent all of his nine seasons in the NBA with the Boston Celtics, being part of eight championship teams from 1959 to 1966. In NBA history, only teammates Bill Russell and Sam Jones have won more championship rings during their playing careers. After Boston lost to thePhiladelphia 76ers in the 1967 playoffs, Jones ended his playing career. In 1983, he took over as head coach of the Boston Celtics, replacing Bill Fitch. Jones guided the Larry Bird-led Celtics to a championship in 1984 and 1986. The Celtics won the Atlantic Division in all five of Jones’s seasons as head coach and reached the NBA Finals in 4 of his 5 years as coach. He briefly coached the Seattle SuperSonics in 1990 and 1991 as well.
6. David Levering Lewis, Historian and Biographer. Author of biography of Du Bois entitled “W.E.B. Du Bois: Biography of a Race,” which won a Pulitzer prize in 1994. His other works include “King: A Biography” (1970), “Prisoners of Honor: The Dreyfus Affair” (1975), “When Harlem Was in Vogue” (1982), “The Race to Fashoda: European Colonialism and the African Resistance to the Scramble for Africa” (1987), and “W.E.B. Du Bois: A Reader” (1995).
7. Leslie Uggams, Actress, made her acting debut on television’s “Beulah” and a regular on The Mitch Miller Show before achieving acclaim in Broadway’s “Hallelujah Baby” and TV’s “Roots.”
8. Marie-Alise Recasner, actress most notably recognized for her role as Alice Jackson on NBC’s soap opera Santa Barbara. She portrayed the role from 1986 to 1987. She had a recurring role on a comedy show A Different World. She also portrayed the second Ellen Burgess on Port Charles from 1998 to 1999.
9. Kendall Gill, retired professional basketball player, now professional boxer and sports analyst for Comcast Sports Net and the Big Ten Network.
10. Cory Tyler, actor and dancer. He is best known for his role as Terrence Taylor, the son of Col. Taylor on the sitcom A Different World. He is the son of ventriloquist and comedian Willie Tyler. He also appeared on Beverly Hills, 90210 as Herbert Little.