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

1.  Rose McClendon born Rose Virginia Scott McClendon, wa a leading   Broadway actress of the 1920s.  Rose McClendon, the “Negro first lady of the dramatic stage” was born in Greenville, SC under the name of Rosalie Virginia Scott. Rose was born circa in 1885 in South Carolina and as a child relocated to New York City. She started acting in church plays as a child, but did not become a professional actress until she won a scholarship to the American Academy of Dramatic Art, when she was in her thirties.

Her first claim to fame came in Deep River, a “native opera with jazz”, in 1926. In addition to acting, she also directed several plays at the  Harlem Experimental Theatre.

She was a contemporary of Paul Robeson, Ethel Barrymore, Lynne Fontanne and Langston Hughes. Hughes wrote a character for her in his 1935 play, Mulatto. Her talent extended to directing as well as acting. She co-founded the Negro People’s Theatre in Harlem (1935). A year later McClendon died of pneumonia. Her co-founder and his wife, Dick Campbell and Murial Rahn, founded the Rose McClendon players.

2. Lester Willis Young,   nicknamed “Prez”, was an American jazz tenor saxophonist and clarinetist. He also played trumpet, violin, and drums.  Coming to prominence while a member of Count Basie’s orchestra, Young was one of the most influential players on his instrument, playing with a cool tone and using sophisticated harmonies. He invented or popularized much of the hipster ethos which came to be associated with the music.

3. Yolanda Adams, (born Yolanda Yvette Adams) is an American Grammy- and Dove-award winning Gospel music singerand radio show host. As of September 2009, she had sold 4.5 million albums since 1991 in the United States, according to SoundScan.  On December 11, 2009 Billboard Magazine named her the 1st Gospel Artist of the last decade.   In the same chart, her album “Mountain High…Valley Low” was acknowledged as the best gospel album.

4. Eric Bobo (born Eric Correa), son of Latin jazz musician Willie Bobo, is a percussionist and is a member of the bandsCypress Hill,  and has also performed and recorded with the Beastie Boys throughout the 90s. He released his debut album Meeting Of The Minds on November 18, 2008 on Nacional Records.

5. Chandra Danette Wilson, actress and director, best known for her role as Dr. Miranda Bailey on the ABC television drama, Grey’s Anatomy. Born in Houston, Texas. She started her theater career at the age of five with the Houston-based Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS). Wilson attended Houston’s High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and went on to the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, where she earned a BFA in drama.

6. Mase, Mason Durell Betha,  Better known by stage name Mase (often type set as Ma$e) who was previously known asMurda Ma$e, is an American rapper, songwriter, actor and inspirational speaker. He was an artist on Sean “Diddy” Combs’s hip hop label Bad Boy Records during the late 1990s

7. Julie Dorne Brown, also known as Downtown Julie Brown (born 27 August 1959), is an English actress and former MTV VJ.   Her father was in the Royal Air Force and she grew up on Air Force bases all around the world including England, Singapore, India and Cyprus and finally settled in Bridgend, Wales. After winning the UK Disco Dancing Championships she went on to win the World Disco Dancing Championship in 1979, soon after Brown began a career on British television as presenter and guest on a number of children’s programs, including the long-running entertainment show Crackerjack.

Brown became a presenter on pan-European music channel Music Box and eventually became an MTV VJ and went on to host the Club MTV show in the late 1980s. The show had a similar format to American Bandstand, but featured an exclusive lineup of dance music. From this came her famous catchphrase, “Wubba Wubba Wubba.”

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