1. Alain LeRoy Locke, writer, philosopher, educator, and patron of the arts. He is best known for his writings on and about the Harlem Renaissance. He is regarded as the “Father of the Harlem Renaissance”. His philosophy served as a strong motivating force in keeping the energy and passion of the Movement at the forefront.
2. Leon (Chu) Berry, Swing Jazz Saxophonist, Berry graduated from Lincoln High School, in Wheeling, then attended West Virginia State College, near Charleston, for three years. His sister played piano and Chu became interested in music at an early age, playing alto saxophone at first with local bands. He was inspired to take up the tenor sax after hearing Coleman Hawkins on tour. Although Berry based his style on Hawkins’ playing, the older man regarded Berry as his equal, saying “‘Chu’ was about the best.” was affiliated with Cab Calloway from 1937 to 1941
3. Charles Brown, blues singer and pianist whose soft-toned, slow-paced blues-club style influenced the development of blues performance during the 1940s and 1950s. He had several hit recordings, including “Driftin’ Blues” and “Merry Christmas Baby”.
4. Nell Carter, an American singer, and film, stage, and television actress. She won a Tony Award for her performance in the Broadway musical Ain’t Misbehavin’, as well as an Emmy Award for her reprisal of the role on television. She also received Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for her starring role in the long-running 1980s sitcom Gimme a Break!.
5. Joni Sledge, Member of Sister Sledge a musical group from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, formed in 1972 and consisting of four sisters
6. Tavis Smiley, Radio-TV personality, talk show host, author, political commentator, entrepreneur, advocate and philanthropist. He worked during the late 1980s as an aide to Tom Bradley, the mayor of Los Angeles. Smiley became a radio commentator in 1991, and starting in 1996 he hosted the talk show BET Talk (later renamed BET Tonight) on BET. Smiley began hosting The Tavis Smiley Show on NPR from 2002 to 2004 and currently hosts Tavis Smiley on PBS on the weekdays and “The Tavis Smiley Show” from PRI. Most recently, he and close friend Dr. Cornel West have joined forces for their own radio talk show, “Smiley & West”. They were featured together interviewing musician Bill Withers in the 2009 documentary film Still Bill.
7. Bernie Williams, Major League Baseball player. At a young age Williams played classical guitar as well as baseball. He was also active in track and field, winning medals at an international meet at the age of 15. He was one of the world’s best 400-meter runners for his age. break into the majors in 1991. become the regular Yankees center fielder by 1993. In 1995 He hit 18 home runs and led the team in runs, hits, total bases and stolen bases.
8. Tyler Perry, is an actor, director, playwright, screenwriter, producer, author, and songwriter. Perry wrote and produced many stage plays in the South during the 1990s and early 2000s. In 2005, he released his first film,Diary of a Mad Black Woman. In 2009, Perry was ranked by Forbes magazine as the sixth highest-paid man in Hollywood.