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

1. John Wesley Gilbert, was the first African American archaeologist, the first graduate of Paine College, the first African American professor of that school, and the first African American to receive a master’s degree from Brown University

2. Dr. Ellis O’Neal Knox, civil rights activist and educator, was the first African-American to be awarded a Ph.D. on the West Coast of the United States. Knox received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1922 from the University of California, Berkeley and his doctorate in the history and philosophy of education from the University of Southern California in the 1931

3. Bessie Griffin, she was steeped in church music as a child. She sang for a while with the Southern Harps, had her own radio show in New Orleans, and later appeared in night clubs, on Broadway and in 1962 on the Ed Sullivan Show. Griffin performed briefly with “Queen of Gospel” Albertina Walker and The Caravans in 1953-1954 but spent most of her career as a solo artist.

4. Barbara Scott Preiskel, attorney, activist, and administrator. worked with the law firm of Dwight, Royal, Harris, Keogh, & Casey. She later joined the Motion Picture Association of America, where she was Senior Vice President and General Counsel from 1977-1983. Preiskel served on the Board of Directors of a number of corporations including: American Stores Company, General Electric Company, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, Textron Inc., and The Washington Post Company.

5. Della Reese (Delloreese Patricia Early), actress, singer, game show panelist of the 1970s, one-time talk-show hostess and ordained minister. She started her career in the 1950s as a gospel, pop and jazz singer, scoring a hit with her 1959 single “Don’t You Know?” In her four decades of acting, she later gained a whole new generation of fans, in the 1990s, playing Tess, the leading role on the television show Touched by an Angel.

6. Gene Chandler, “The Duke of Earl”, R&B and soul singer-songwriter, producer and record executive. A Grammy Hall Of Fame inductee, and winner of the National Association of Television and Radio Announcers Producer of the Year Award, Chandler has had more than thirty chart hits.

7. Randall Robinson, lawyer, author and activist, the founder of TransAfrica. He is known particularly for his impassioned opposition to South African apartheid, and for his advocacy on behalf of Haitian immigrants and Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

8. Phyllis Linda Hyman, soul singer, song writer and actress.

9. Willie Larry Randolph, is a former second baseman and former manager in Major League Baseball, best known for his 13 seasons playing for the New York Yankees. He is currently the Milwaukee Brewers bench coach.

10. Lance Johnson, retired Major League Baseball player. At the age of 24, Johnson broke into the big leagues on July 10, 1987, with the St. Louis Cardinals after being drafted by them in the 6th round of the 1984 amateur draft. In 1987 Johnson, playing for the Louisville Redbirds, was the American Association Most Valuable Player. From 1988-95 Johnson played for the Chicago White Sox.

11. Curtis James Jackson III, better known by his stage name 50 Cent, is an American Grammy Award winning rapper and actor.

12.  Tamera Darvette Mowry, actress. She first gained fame for her teen role as Tamera Campbell on the sitcom Sister, Sister, opposite her identical twin sister Tia Mowry. She starred in the Disney Channel Original Movie Twitches and its sequel, Twitches Too. She has also made a break into dramatic television, and is also known for her role as Dr. Kayla Thorton on the medical drama Strong Medicine. In 2009, Mowry appeared in the ABC Family series Roommates.

13. Tia Dashon Mowry Hardrict, also known professionally as Tia Mowry Hardrict, is an actress. She first gained fame for her teen role as Tia Landry on the sitcom Sister, Sister, opposite her identical twin sister Tamera Mowry. From 2006 to 2009, she portrayed medical student Melanie Barnett on the CW comedy-drama series The Game.

14. Jeremy Suarez, actor perhaps best known for his starring role of Jordan Thomkins, Bernie Mac ‘s nephew, on The Bernie Mac Show.

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