1. Georgia Gordon Taylor, vocalist. became a fisk Jubilee Singer in 1872.
2. Benjamin Griffith Brawley, prominent author and educator. He studied at Atlanta Baptist College, the University of Chicago, and Harvard, and he taught at Atlanta Baptist College, Howard University, and Shaw University, serving as the Dean of Morehouse College, Atlanta, GA. He wrote a good deal of poetry, but is best known for his prose work including: History of Morehouse College (1917); The Negro Literature and Art (1918); A Short History of the American Negro (1919); A Short History of the English Drama (1921); A Social History of the American Negro (1921); A New Survey of English Literature (1925).
3. Charles Mingus, jazz musician, composer, bandleader, and human rights activist. Having released numerous records of high regard, Mingus is considered one of the most important composers and performers of jazz as well as a pioneer in bass technique. Dozens of musicians passed through his bands and later went on to impressive careers. Mingus was also influential and creative as a band leader, recruiting talented and sometimes little-known artists whom he assembled into unconventional and revealing configurations.
4. Norman Hill, Administrator, activist and labor leader. in the early 1960’s, Hill joined the the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), first as East Coast Field Secretary, then as National Program Director from 1961 to 1964. During those years he coordinated the Route 40 (from Baltimore to Washington, D.C) restaurant desegregation campaign, the Waldorf Astoria, A&P Stores, the Trailways Bus Company campaigns and he planned and directed the civil rights demonstration at the 1964 RNC.
5. Cathy Hughes (Catherine Elizabeth Woods), Entrepreneur, radio and television personality and business executive. Ms. Hughes founded the media company Radio One and later expanded into TV One, the company went public in 1998, making Catherine L. Hughes the first and only African-American female to head a publicly traded corporation. In the 1980’s, Cathy Hughes created the very successful urban radio format called The Quiet Storm.
6. Sherri Evonne Shepherd, comedienne, actress, and television personality. She is one of five co-hosts on the ABC daytime talk show, The View. As an actress, she is perhaps best known for her role on the sitcom Less Than Perfect and supporting film roles, most notably as Cornrows in the 2009 Oscar-nominated film Precious.
7. Helene Cooper, journalist who is a White House correspondent for the New York Times. Before that, she was the paper’s diplomatic correspondent in Washington, D.C.. She joined the Times in 2004 as assistant editorial page editor.
At The Wall Street Journal, Cooper wrote about trade, politics, race and foreign policy at the Washington and Atlanta bureaus from 1992 to 1997. From 1997 to 1999, she reported on the European Monetary Union from the London bureau. From 1999 to 2002, she was a reporter focusing on international economics; then assistant Washington bureau chief from 2002 to 2004.
In 2008, she published a memoir titled The House at Sugar Beach (Simon & Shuster). The memoir largely concerns the Liberian coup of 1980 and its effect on Cooper’s family, socially and politically-elite descendants of American freed slaves who colonized the country in the 19th century. The book received critical acclaim and was a National Books Critics Circle Award finalist for autobiography.
8. DJ Drama (born Tyree Cinque Simmons) is the DJ wtih wide experience in the mixtape game, perhaps best known for the “Gangsta Grillz” series. He has worked with a wide range of acts including T.I., Jime Jones, Saigon, Lil Wayne, Young Jeezy, Webbie, Little Brother, and the Pimp Squad Click (P$C). He’s also one third of the highly productive Aphilliates Music Group with DJ Don Cannon and DJ Sense. On January 16, 2007, DJ Drama, along with DJ Cannon, were arrested on RICO charges for selling CDs that did not have a publisher’s address.