1. Charles H. Houston, lawyer, Dean of Howard University Law School and NAACP Litigation Director who played a significant role in dismantling the Jim Crow laws and trained future Supreme Court JusticeThurgood Marshall.
Houston started at Amherst College in 1911, was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa honor society, and graduated as valedictorian in 1915. He returned to D.C. to teach at Howard University. As the U.S. entered World War I, Houston joined the then racially segregated U. S. Army as an officer and was sent to France. He returned to the U.S. in 1919, and began attending Harvard Law School. He was a member of the Harvard Law Review and graduated cum laude.
Going on to become known as “The Man Who Killed Jim Crow.” he played a role in nearly every civil rights case before the Supreme Court between 1930 and Brown v. Board of Education (1954). Houston’s plan to attack and defeat Jim Crow segregation by demonstrating the inequality in the “separate but equal” doctrine from the Supreme Court’s Plessy v. Ferguson decision as it pertained to public education in the United States was the masterstroke that brought about the landmark Brown decision.
2. Memphis Slim (John Len Chatman), blues pianist, singer, and composer. He led a series of bands that, reflecting the popular appeal of jump blues, included saxophones, bass, drums, and piano. A song he first cut in 1947, “Every Day I Have the Blues”, has become a blues standard, recorded by many other artists. He made over 500 recordings.
3. Freddie King, thought to have been born as Frederick Christian, originally recording as Freddy King, and nicknamed “the Texas Cannonball“, was an influential blues guitarist and singer. He is often mentioned as one of “the Three Kings” of electric blues guitar, along with Albert King and B.B. King, as well as the youngest of the three.