1. James Edwin Campbell, poet, editor, short story writer and educator.
2. Plummer Bernard P.B. Young Sr., Publisher of the Norfolk Journal and Guide, was dedicated to the idea that Black-owned newspapers should play a crusading role in the lives of their readers. Young was born in 1884 in Littleton, N.C. He learned the newspaper business from his father, Winfield Young, who published a small newspaper in their hometown. Young attended Saint Augustine’s College in Raleigh, N.C., from 1903 to 1905. He moved to Norfolk, Va., in 1907 to work for a fraternal order publication called the Lodge Journal and Guide. As a reporter and then editor, he doubled the publication’s circulation. In 1910, he bought the publication, renaming it the Norfolk Journal and Guide, and began transforming it into a Southern powerhouse. By the beginning of World War II, it was the largest Black-owned newspaper in the South with a circulation exceeding 100,000. It also was the only African-American paper in the South to have a national edition. Under Young’s leadership, the Journal and Guide crusaded against lynching; mobilized African Americans to vote; pressed for integration of the military; and editorialized against the northern migration of Southern Blacks. During the 1930s, the paper sent reporters to cover the sensational trials of the Scottsboro Boys, nine African-American youths falsely accused of raping white girls.
Young’s view of the role of the Black press was crystallized when he offered to draft a code of journalistic guidelines for the National Newspaper Publishers Association in 1944. Young’s ”Credo of the Negro Press,” in part, states: ”I shall CRUSADE for all things that are right and just and I will, with equal fervor, expose and condemn all things that are unjust. I shall be a crusader but will not permit my fervor nor the rightness of my cause to provoke abandonment of the cardinals of journalism, accuracy, fairness and objectivity.”
3. William J. Powell, earned an engineering degree from the University of Illinois. In 1917 he enlisted in officer training school and served in a segregated unit during World War I. After the war Powell opened service stations in Chicago. He became interested in aviation, but the only school that would train him was located in Los Angeles. Thus, he sold his businesses in Chicago and moved to the West Coast. After learning to fly, Powell dreamed of opening an all-black flight school.
After the war Powell opened service stations in Chicago. He became interested in aviation, but the only school that would train him was located in Los Angeles. Thus, he sold his businesses in Chicago and moved to the West Coast. After learning to fly, Powell dreamed of opening an all-black flight school. Which he finally did, the Bessie Coleman Flying School.
By the 1930s Los Angeles had become an important center for black aviation. Powell organized the Bessie Coleman Aero Club to promote aviation awareness in the black community. On Labor Day 1931, the flying club sponsored the first all-black air show held in the United States, an event that attracted an estimated 15,000 spectators. Through the efforts of the Bessie Coleman School, the number of black aviators increased dramatically despite the economic hardships of the Great Depression.
Powell used many methods to attract African Americans to the field of aviation. He made a film about a young man who wanted to be a flyer, and for two years he published the Craftsmen Aero-News, a monthly journal about black aviation. He offered scholarships with free technical training in aeronautics for black youth. He invited celebrities, such as jazz musician Duke Ellington and boxer Joe Louis, to lend their names—and their funds—to his cause.
Powell published Black Wings in 1934. Dedicated to Bessie Coleman, the book entreated black men and women “to fill the air with black wings.” A visionary supporter of aviation, Powell urged black youth to carve out their own destiny—to become pilots, aircraft designers, and business leaders in the field of aviation.
4. Nathan Mossell, Physician, In 1888 he was elected to membership in the Philadelphia County Medical Society, the first Black physician to be so honored. In August 1895, he was the leading figure in the founding of the Frederick Douglass Memorial Hospital and Training School. He served as chief-of-staff and medical director there until his retirement in 1933.
5. Alex Rodriguez, Major League Baseball third baseman for the New York Yankees. Known popularly by his nickname A-Rod
, He previously played shortstop for the Seattle Mariners and the Texas Rangers.
6. Harvey Fuqua, rhythm and blues singer, songwriter, record producer, and record label executive. Fuqua founded the R&B/doo-wop group the Moonglows in the 1950s. He was one of the key figures in the development of the Motown label in Detroit, Michigan: his group gave Marvin Gaye’s musical career a start, and Fuqua and his wife at the time, Gwen Gordy, distributed the very first Motown hit single, Barrett Strong’s “Money (That’s What I Want)”, on their record label, Anna Records. Fuqua later sold Anna Records to Gwen’s brother Berry Gordy, and became a songwriter and executive at Motown.
7. Woodie King, Jr., essayist, short-story writer, anthologist, dramatist, scriptwriter for film and television, producer, director, actor, and contributor to the Black Arts movement. is a renowned African-American director and producer of stage and screen, as well as the founding director of the New Federal Theater in New York.
8. Roger G. Smith, writer, director, and actor.Smith received an Obie Award for his signature solo performance in A Huey P. Newton Story on stage. In film, Smith has had a successful collaboration with Spike Lee on several works. He has appeared in films such as School Daze, Do The Right Thing, Malcolm X, Get On The Bus, Eve’s Bayou, He Got Game, and Summer of Sam. During the 1990s he had a recurring role on A Different World and Homicide: Life on the Street. In addition to his performances in major studio productions, Smith continues to work in and support independent film projects.