1. Gertrude Mossell, journalist and educator. worked as a teacher for several years before becoming a journalist in the early 1870s. She wrote columns and articles for many black newspapers including the Indianapolis Freeman, the Philadelphia Echo, the Richmond Rankin Institute, Our Women and Children, the Indianapolis World, and Woman’s Era. She also wrote for white newspapers and magazines such as Ladies Home Journal, The Philadelphia Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Philadelphia Press.
2. Peter Jackson “The Black Prince,” Boxer. In 1886, Jackson won the Australian heavyweight title by knocking out Tom Leeds in the 30th round. He found it difficult to get opponents in Australia, so he moved to the United States in 1888 and fought his way across the country.
3. Mississippi John Hurt, Legendary Bluesman and guitarist, influential country blues singer and guitarist. He sang in a loud whisper, to a melodious finger-picked guitar accompaniment.
4. Lorenzo “Piper” Davis, one of the all-time best athletes major league caliber in both baseball and basketball.
5. Dr. Samuel P. Massie, elected as the third President of North Carolina College at Durham on August 9, 1963. Dr. Massie came to the institution from Washington, D. C., where he was Associate Program Director for Undergraduate Science Education of the National Science Foundation and Professor and Chairman of the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at Howard University. He resigned on February 1, 1966 and served as a chemistry professor at the United States Naval Academy from 1966 to 1993
6. Johnny Hartman, baritone jazz singer who specialized in ballads and earned critical acclaim, though he was never widely known. He recorded a well-known collaboration with the saxophonist John Coltrane in 1963 called John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman, and was briefly a member of Dizzy Gillespie’s group. Most of his career was spent recording solo albums.
7. David Lynch, hall of fame member of the Platters.
8. Charles Richard Drew, physician, surgeon and medical researcher. He researched in the field of blood transfusions, developing improved techniques for blood storage, and applied his expert knowledge to developing large-scale blood banks early in World War II. This allowed medics to save thousands of lives of the Allied forces.
9. Fontella Bass, Soul and R&B singer, who is best known for the 1965 R&B hit ” Rescue Me”, which she also co-wrote.
10. Ruth Simmons, Educator and the first Black president of Brown University.
11. Jean-Claude Duvalier, was the ruler of Haiti from 1971 until his overthrow by a popular uprising in 1986.
12. Montel Williams, Talk Show Host (Montel Williams Show)
13. Greg Vaughn, former Major League Baseball left fielder and right-handed batter who played for the Milwaukee Brewers (1989-96), San Diego Padres (1996-98), Cincinnati Reds (1999), Tampa Bay Devil Rays (2000-02) and Colorado Rockies (2003). He was born in Sacramento, California, where he attended Kennedy High School. He then played baseball at the University of Miami. He is the cousin of fellow former Major Leaguer, Mo Vaughn.
14. Moises Alou, former outfielder in Major League Baseball who played for 17 seasons in the National League. In 1,942 career games, Alou had a batting average of .303 with 2,134 hits, 421 doubles, 332 home runs, and 1,287 runs batted in. Because of his status as a five-tool player and his excellent career numbers, Alou is considered by many to be one of the best outfielders of the 1990’s and 2000’s.
15. Lil’ Mo (Cynthia Loving), Rapp Artist and Rhythm and Blues Artsit