1. Absalom Jones, was an abolitionist and clergyman. After founding a black congregation in 1794, in 1804 he was the first African-American ordained as a priest in the Episcopal Church of the United States. He is listed on the Episcopal calendar of saints and blessed under the date of his decease, February 13, in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer as “Absalom Jones, Priest, 1818”.
2. Derrick Albert Bell, Jr., was the first tenured African-American professor of Law at Harvard University, and largely credited as the originator of Critical Race Theory. He was the former dean of the University of Oregon School of Law.
1. Enolia P. McMillan, Teacher, she becomes the first woman president of the NAACP, serving the organization from 1984 to 1990.
2. Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr., better known by his stage name Snoop Dogg, is an Rapp Artist, record producer, actor, entrepreneur. Snoop is best known as a rapper in the West Coast hip hop scene, and for being one of Dr. Dre’s most notable protégés.
Snoop’s debut album Doggystyle, was released in 1993 under Death Row Records making a debut at No.1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B charts. Selling almost a million copies in the first week of its release, Doggystyle quickly became certified 4x platinum in 1994 and spawned several hit singles, including “What’s My Name” and “Gin & Juice”. In 1994, Snoop released a soundtrack on Death Row Records for the short film Murder Was The Case, starring himself.
3. Jennifer Nicole Freeman, actress, often credited as Jennifer N. Freeman. She was born in Los Angeles, California best known for playing the role of Claire Kyle in the ABC sitcom My Wife and Kids. She has also made guest appearances on television (such as the shows 7th Heaven, Switched, One on One, and The OC). She is a spokesmodel for the Neutrogena skin care products company.
1. Byrd Prillerman, Co-founder of Virginia State College one of West Virginia’s most prominent Negro educators, and former president of West Virginia Collegiate institute, now West Virginia State college. one of those responsible for having the land-grant school located in the Kanawha Valley, was the fourth president. During his tenure, academic programs were expanded and the institution was given a new name “The West Virginia Collegiate Institute.” Prillerman Hall is named for him.
2. LaWanda Page, actress and comedienne best known for her portrayal of Aunt Esther in the 1970s TV sitcom Sanford and Son. Known for using the “set you straight term” (Watch it sucker).
3. Georgia Montgomery Davis Powers, served for 21 years as a distinguished member of the state Senate in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. When elected in 1967, she became the first person of color and the first woman elected to the Kentucky’s State Senate.
4. Johnnetta Betsch Cole, PhD, The first African American female president of Spelman College from 1987-1997. She was president of Bennett College from 2002-2007. She is currently serving as director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African Art.
5. Michael Stephen Steele, Conservative politician, serving since January 2009 as the first African American chairman of the Republican National Committee.
6. Jennifer Holiday, singer and Tony Award-winning actress. She started her career on Broadway in musicals such as Dreamgirls, and later became a successful recording artist. She is best known for her debut single, the Dreamgirls showstopper and Grammy Award-winning R&B/Pop hit, “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going.”
7. Evander Hollyfield, Former heavyweight Boxing Champion, He is a former World Undisputed Champion in both cruiserweight and heavyweight divisions, earning him the nickname “The Real Deal”. After winning the bronze medal in the Light Heavyweight division at the 1984 Summer Olympics, he debuted as a professional at the age of 21.
8. Bradley Lee Daugherty, retired basketball player with the University of North Carolina and later with the Cleveland Cavaliers of the NBA, joined ESPN’s return to NASCAR racing telecasts in 2007. He is currently a car owner and an analyst for NASCAR.
1. Chuck Berry (Charles Edward Anderson Berry), guitarist, singer, and songwriter, and considered one of the pioneers of rock and roll music. With songs such as “Maybellene” (1955), “Roll Over Beethoven” (1956), “Rock and Roll Music” (1957) and “Johnny B. Goode” (1958), Chuck Berry refined and developed rhythm and blues into the major elements that made rock and roll distinctive, with lyrics focusing on teen life and consumerism and utilizing guitar solos and showmanship that would be a major influence on subsequent rock music.
2. Ntozake Shange( Paulette Williams), playwright, and poet. As a self proclaimed black feminist, much of the content of her work addresses issues relating to race and feminism. Shange is best-known for the Obie Award-winning play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf. She also wrote Betsey Brown, a novel about an African American girl who runs away from home. Among her honors and awards are fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund, and a Pushcart Prize.
3. Terry McMillan, Novelist, editor, and educator, author. Her interest in books comes from working at alibrary when she was sixteen. She received her BA in journalism in 1986 at University of California, Berkeley. Her work is characterized by strong female protagonists. Her first book, Mama, was self-published. She achieved national attention in 1992 with her third novel, Waiting to Exhale, which remained on The New York Times bestseller list for many months. In 1995, Forest Whitaker turned it into a film starring Whitney Houston. In 1998, another of McMillan’s novels, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, was made into a movie. McMillan’s novel Disappearing Acts was subsequently produced as a direct-to-cable feature, starring Wesley Snipes and Sanaa Lathan. She also wrote the best seller A Day Late and a Dollar Short. The Interruption of Everything was published on July 19, 2005. Getting to Happy, the long-awaited sequel toWaiting to Exhale, was published on September 7, 2010.
4. Tommy Hearns, retired boxer. He won 8 world titles in six different weight divisions. Hearns became the first boxer in history to win world titles in four divisions. He would also become the first fighter in history to conquer 5 world titles in 5 different divisions. He has scored many memorable knockouts in his career and is widely considered to be one of the greatest knockout artists of all time. Hearns was voted the greatest Super Welterweight of all time and received the “Fighter of the Year” award in 1980 and 1984.
He fought 21 current, past or future world champions. Blessed with exceptional height for a welterweight (6’1″), a broad back, and unusually long arms, Hearns had a unique build combined with destructive punching power. He is known best for his devastating right hand, his powerful left hook and for carrying his left hand low—a stance he used to lure foes into an exchange, as well as to maximize the speed and change the angle of his jab, a technique called the “flicker jab”.
As a fighter, his aggression set him apart, controlling fights with his incredible reach, power and great boxing skills. He lost only one decision in his entire career, at the age of 33, to Iran “The Blade” Barkley.
5. Wynton Learson Marsalis, Trumpeter, composer, bandleader, music educator, and Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center. Marsalis has promoted the appreciation of classical and jazz music often to young audiences. Marsalis has been awarded nine Grammys in both genres, and was awarded the first Pulitzer Prize for Music for a jazz recording. Marsalis is the son of jazz musician Ellis Marsalis, Jr. (pianist), grandson to Ellis Marsalis, Sr., and brother to Branford (saxophonist),Delfeayo (trombonist), Mboya, and Jason (drummer).
6. Cheryl “Pepsii” Riley-Grace (born October 18, 1968) is an American R&B/gospel singer and actress, best known for her 1988 ballad, “Thanks for My Child.”
Cheryl Riley, who worked as a nurse for handicapped children for ten years before beginning her singing career, topped the US R&B chartand hit the Top 40 on the pop chart at #32 with the 1988 ballad, “Thanks for My Child,” a song written by Full Force. It peaked at #75 in theUK Singles Chart in January 1989. The genesis of “Thanks for My Child” began with Full Force member Bowlegged Lou’s experience with the complications of his wife’s first pregnancy.
As pivotal as “Thanks for My Child” was for Riley’s career, it was not the first song Lou offered to her. She refused his offer to record “I Wonder If I Take You Home” because she did not want to spread herself too thin, but after it became a million-selling hit for Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam in 1985, she thought she had missed her big break. Lou then offered her “Thanks for My Child”. Riley still had her nurse’s job when the song went to number one on the R&B chart.
The title track single to her debut LP Me Myself and I made it to number 18 on the R&B charts in early 1989. Another single, “Every Little Thing About You,” peaked at number 55 on the R&B charts later that year. Her second LP, Chapters, was issued and yielded the singles “How Can You Hurt the One You Love” and a cover of Aretha Franklin’s 1968 hit “Ain’t No Way”. Her third album All That! was released by Reprise, and featured the singles “Gimme” and “Guess I’m in Love.”
After a hiatus from the entertainment industry, Riley re-emerged in the early 2000s as a star in a number of gospel plays for best-selling playwright Tyler Perry, including Madea’s Class Reunion, Madea Goes to Jail, Why Did I Get Married? and the film version of Diary of a Mad Black Woman and Madea’s Big Happy Family.
1. In 1787, Led by Prince Hall, free Boston blacks petition the Massachusetts legislature for equal school facilities for African-American children. In addition to spreading Freemasonry among blacks, Hall became the most prominent black leader of the period.
2. In 1871, President Ulysses Grant suspends the writ of habeas corpus in nine South Carolina counties in order to combat a Ku Klux Klan terror campaign against blacks and some progressive whites. Grant’s forces crushed the Klan during this period. It would not rise again until the 1920s.
3. In 1888, The nation’s first black bank, Capital Savings, is chartered in Washington, D.C., by a group known as the Order of the True Reformers. The now little known but once influential group set up chapters throughout the South and advocated black self-help and the establishment of black-owned businesses. The founder was William Washington Browne, a Methodist minister from Richmond, Va.
4. In 1969, Dr. Clifton R. Wharton becomes the first black in the 20th century to head a major, predominantly white university when he is named president of Michigan State University.
5. In 1988, Pearl Bailey Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
6. In 2018 Charles (Chop) Roundtree Jr., 18, was murdered while setting on the couch in his living room by a cop who didn’t identify himself as such. He was shot it the chess and killed by San Antonio Police Department Officer Steve Casanova
1. Frederick Douglass Patterson, Former president of Tuskegee University (1935–1953) and founder of the United Negro College Fund (1944, UNCF). In 1987, President Ronald Reagan awarded Dr. Patterson the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.
Patterson received his DVM in 1923 and M.S. in 1927 from Iowa State University, and his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1933. Patterson is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.
2. Ivory Joe Hunter, was an R&B singer, songwriter, and pianist, best known for his hit recording, “Since I Met You, Baby” (1956). Billed as The Baron of the Boogie, he was also known as The Happiest Man Alive.
3. Harry “Sweets” Edison, was a jazz trumpeter and member of the Count Basie Orchestra.
4. Theolonius Monk is born in Rocky Mount, NC. He was only one of 3 jazz musicians ever featured on the cover of Time magazine. A jazz pianist and composer considered “one of the giants of American music”. Monk had a unique improvisational style and made numerous contributions to the standard jazz repertoire, including “Epistrophy”, “‘Round Midnight”, “Blue Monk”, “Straight, No Chaser” and “Well, You Needn’t”. Monk is the second most recorded jazz composer after Duke Ellington,
5. Ben Vereen, an actor, dancer, and singer who has appeared in numerous Broadway theatre shows. He starred in the television series Ten speed and Brown Shoe, but is probably best known for his role as “Chicken George” Moore in Roots.
6. Cyril Neville, is a percussionist and vocalist who first came to prominence as a member of his brother Art Neville’s funky New Orleans-based band, The Meters. He joined Art in the prestigious Neville Brothers band upon the dissolution of the Meters.
7. Derrick Wayne McKey, retired basketball player who played the most part of his NBA career between the small forward and the power forward positions.
8. Michael Lamont Bivins, a.k.a. Biv is the founder and member of the R&B group New Edition and the hip hop group Bell Biv DeVoe. Not only does he perform in both groups, but he also discovers, manages, and produces for other acts, most notably Another Bad Creation, MC Brains, Boyz II Men, and 702, all of whom were signed to his Motown distributed label Biv 10 Records. He serves as the music entrepreneur and A&R man of both of his own acts.
Bivins had a minor role in the film Friday After Next, and guest-starred as a DJ on the pseudo-radio station CSR 103.9 in the hit video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Most recently, he made an appearance in the basketball film Crossover as a character known as Heart Attack. He is also in charge of Artist Development for Making the Band 4. He is CEO of his own label Sporty Rich Enterprises.
9. Marie Harrison, professionally referred to as Mýa, is a singer-songwriter, record producer, and actress. Born and raised in Washington D.C., Harrison’s eponymous debut album with Interscope Records was released in April 1998, and sold over one million copies in the United States, producing the gold-certified top ten single “It’s All About Me” featuring Sisqó.
Her second studio album, platinum-selling Fear of Flying, was released in 2000 and became a success worldwide, with single “Case of the Ex” becoming Mýa’s breakthrough hit, reaching number-one on the Australian Singles Chart. A year after, Harrison won her first Grammy Award for the worldwide number-one hit “Lady Marmalade”, a cover version she recorded alongside Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, and Pink for the soundtrack of the film Moulin Rouge! (2001).
The singer’s third studio album, Moodring, was released in July 2003 and certified gold by the RIAA. Following several label changes, Mýa’s often-delayed fourth studio album, Liberation (2007), received a download-release in Japan only and led to her 2008 Japan-exclusive album Sugar & Spice.
Having expanded her career to acting and product endorsement deals, Harrison has been engaged in product endorsement deals with brands such as Coca-Cola, Gap, Iceberg, Tommy Hilfiger, and Motorola and has had small roles in films such as Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (2004), Shall We Dance? (2004), and Cursed (2005). In 2002, she had a supporting role in the film adaptation of the 1975 Broadway musical Chicago, for which she won a Screen Actors Guild Award. Billboard named Mýa the 97th Hot 100 Artists of 2000s
1. Nat Turner, Slave Revolt Leader/Abolistionist was an slave who led a slave rebellion in Virginia on August 21, 1831 that resulted in 56 white deaths and over 55 black deaths,the largest number of fatalities to occur in one uprising prior to the American Civil War in the southern United States. He gathered supporters in Southampton County, Virginia. White backlash resulted in the state executing 56 blacks accused of being part of Turner’s slave rebellion. Two hundred blacks were also beaten and killed by white militia mobs and thugs. As if that wasn’t enough retribution, Virginia and other southern state legislators passed new laws prohibiting education of slaves and free blacks, restricting rights of assembly and other civil rights for free blacks, and requiring white ministers to be present at black worship services.
2. Robert H. Lawrence, Jr., was born. He became an astronaut and pilot. He was the first African American selected for space travel.
3. Johnny L. Cochran, Jr. lawyer best known for his leadership role in the defense and criminal acquittal of O. J. Simpson for the alleged murder of his former wife Nicole Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman.
Cochran also represented Sean Combs (during his trial on gun and bribery charges), Michael Jackson, rapper Tupac Shakur, actor Todd Bridges, football player Jim Brown, rapper Snoop Dogg, former heavyweight Champion Riddick Bowe, 1992 Los Angeles riot beating victim Reginald Oliver Denny, and Rosa Parks.
He also represented athlete Marion Jones when she faced charges of doping during her high school track career. Cochran was known for his skill in the courtroom and his prominence as an early advocate for victims of police brutality.
4. Avery Brooks, is an American actor, jazz musician, opera singer and college professor. Brooks is perhaps best known for his television roles as Benjamin Sisko on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and as Hawk on Spenser: For Hire and its spinoff A Man Called Hawk, and in the Academy Award-nominated film American History X.
5. Ernest Riles, is a former shortstop and third baseman in Major League Baseball. From 1985 through 1993, Riles played for the Milwaukee Brewers (1985–1988), San Francisco Giants (1988–1990), Oakland Athletics (1991), Houston Astros (1992) and Boston Red Sox (1993). He batted left-handed and threw right-handed.
6 Melissa Victoria Harris-Perry ( Melissa Harris-Lacewell) is an American author and political commentator with a focus on African-American politics.
She is a professor of political science at Tulane University. Prior to that, she was an associate professor of politics and African-American studies at Princeton University from 2006 to 2010, and taught political science at the University of Chicago from 1999 to 2005. She is also an award winning author and appears regularly on MSNBC and other media venues.
1. Fannie M. Richards, an educator and civil rights activist, moved to Detroit with her family in the 1850s. She received her early education in the Detroit public schools before going to Toronto, Ontario, where she studied English, history and drawing. Returning to Detroit, Richards opened a private school for African Americans in 1863. Two years later, she was appointed to teach in Detroit’s segregated Colored School No. 2. In 1869, Richards and others, including future Republican governor John Bagley, filed suit with the Michigan Supreme Court, arguing that segregated public schools were unconstitutional. The court agreed, and in 1871 Richards became the first African American teacher in Detroit’s newly integrated school system.
2. Georgie “Wild Child” Butler, Bluesman, Harmonica. Wild Child made a name for himself in the 50’s and early 60’s playing in Chicago and the rural juke joints in Alabama. He first recorded in 1964 and then hooked up with the legendary Willie Dixon who produced four Wild Child singles for Jewel Records from 1966 to 1968. Those sessions were highlighted by the dual harp numbers featuring Wild Child and the great Big Walter Horton.
Wild Child Butler’s resume is top notch. He has toured with Jimmy Rogers, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Cousin Joe and Roosevelt Sykes. His last two recordings were released in the ’90s on Rounder Records. Wild Child’s biggest influence is Sonny Boy Williamson II and yet his sound is all his own. A prolific songwriter, Wild Child Butler performs mostly his own compositions.
3. Donny Hathaway, Soul and R&B Singer, Songwriter, Arranger, Keyboardist and record producer. Hathaway contracted with Atlantic Records in 1969 and with his first single for the Atco label, “The Ghetto, Part I” in early 1970. His collaborations with Roberta Flack scored high on the charts and won him the Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for the duet, “Where Is the Love” in 1973.
4. Roberto Kelly, a former Outfielder in Major League Baseball and is currently the first base coach for the San Francisco Giants. He previously managed the Giants single A team, the Augusta Green Jackets. Kelly played for several major league clubs. He was signed by the New York Yankees as an amateur free agent in 1982 and went on to play for the New York Yankees (1987–92 and 2000), Cincinnati Reds (1993–94), Atlanta Braves (1994), Montreal Expos (1995), Los Angeles Dodgers (1995), Minnesota Twins (1996–97), Seattle Mariners (1997) and Texas Rangers (1998–99). He helped the Dodgers win the 1995 NL Western Division, the Mariners win the 1997 American League Western Division, and the Rangers win the 1998 and 1999 AL Western Division.
He was named to the 1992 American League All-Star Team and the 1993 National League All-Star Team.
1. Ida Stephens Owens, Biochemist, received a Ph.D. in Biology-Physiology from Duke University in 1967. At the National Institutes of Health (NIH), biochemist Dr. Ida Owens conducts studies in the genetics of detoxification enzymes
2. Lou Myers, actor. Myers is typically typecast as a grumpy old man, but he has appeared in many movies, stage plays, television sitcoms, and dramas. He got his first break as an understudy in the Broadway play, The First Breeze of Summer as Reverend Mosley. He is probably best known as the feisty Mr. Vernon Gaines in the sitcom A Different World. Myers is also an accomplished pianist.
3. Shawn Stockman, R&B singer, best known as a member of the vocal group Boyz II Men. He is also a judge on the television show The Sing-Off, alongside Sara Bareilles and Ben Folds.
4. Serena Jameka Williams, Tennis Pro/Fashion Diva, professional tennis player and a former World No. 1. The Women’s Tennis Association has ranked her World No. 1 in singles on five separate occasions. She became the World No. 1 for the first time on July 8, 2002 and regained this ranking for the fifth time on November 2, 2009. She is considered to be one of the greatest women’s tennis players of all time. Her 27 Grand Slam titles places her ninth on the all-time list. Williams has won two Olympic gold medals in women’s doubles. She has won more career prize money than any other female athlete in history. Serena has played older sister Venus in 23 professional matches since 1998, with Serena winning 13. They have met in eight Grand Slam finals, with Serena winning six times. Beginning with the 2002 French Open, they played each other in four consecutive Grand Slam singles finals, which was the first time in the open era that the same two players had contested four consecutive Grand Slam finals. The pair have won 12 Grand Slam doubles titles together.
5. Christine Marié Flores,better known by her stage name Christina Milian, is an American recording artist, actress, dancer and model. Although Milian is best known for her singing career, she originally wanted to be an actress. Her first lead role was in the 2003 film Love Don’t Cost a Thing, and subsequently had main roles in Be Cool and the horror film Pulse.
1. Frances Ellen Watkins Harper , writer, Teacher, Poetess, Anti-slavery activist. She had a long and prolific career, publishing her first book of poetry at twenty and her first novel, the widely praised Iola Leroy, at age 67.
2. Edward Franklin Frazier, sociologist. His 1932 Ph.D. dissertation The Negro Family in Chicago, later released as a book The Negro Family in the United States in 1939. The Book analyzed the cultural and historical forces that influenced the development of the African American family from the time of slavery. The book was awarded the 1939 Anisfield Award for the most significant work in the field of race relations. This book was among the first sociological works on blacks researched and written by a black person. He helped draft the UNESCO statement The Race Question in 1950.
3. Herb Jeffries, The Singing Cowboy (1930’s films), A jazz and popular singer, Jeffries is noted for being the first African American to star in an American western. He starred as a singing cowboy in several all-black Western films in which he sang his own western compositions. Jeffries got financing for the first black western film and hired Spencer Williams to appear with him. In addition to starring in the film, Jeffries sang and performed his own stunts as the cowboy character, “Bob Blake.”.
4. Tarheel Slim (Alden “Allen” Bunn), Blues Artist, Vocals & Guitar during the ’50s, 60s and 70s. “Number Nine Train”, Wilcat Tamer” and “Much Too Late”. Bunn Got his start with The Southern Harmonaires, then later joined the Selah Jubilee Singers as the group’s guitarist and second lead singer, and later with the Larks.
5. Cardiss Robertson Collins, Politician, U.S. House of Representatives. Elected to 12 consecutive terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, Cardiss Collins ranks as one of the longest-serving minority women in the history of Congress. Succeeding her late husband, Representative George Collins, after his death in 1972, Cardiss Collins continued his legacy as a loyal politician in the Chicago Democratic organization directed by Mayor Richard Daley. One of only a handful of women to serve in Congress for more than 20 years, and the only black woman in the chamber for six years, Representative Collins evolved into a dedicated legislator who focused on the economic and social needs of her urban district.
6. Chick Willis, blues singer. His cousin was Chuck Willis. Chick Willis served in the military in the early 1950s before working as a chauffeur for Chuck Willis during his heyday. He won a talent show at the Magnolia Ballroom in Atlanta, Georgia and made his first record in 1956, with the Ebb Records’ single “You’re Mine”. Initially, he only sang, but learned guitar while touring with his cousin; Guitar Slim was one of his foremost influences. Willis was inducted into the Blues Hall Of Fame on June 19, 2009.
7. Willie Kent, blues singer, bassist and songwriter.
8. Hubie Brooks, former Major League Baseball player. During his career, he played as a third baseman, shortstop and right fielder for the New York Mets (1980–84, 1991), Montreal Expos (1985–89), Los Angeles Dodgers (1990), California Angels (1992) and Kansas City Royals (1993–94).
9. Otis Bernard Gilkey, former Major League Baseball player for the St. Louis Cardinals, New York Mets, Arizona Diamondbacks, Boston Red Sox, and Atlanta Braves. Primarily a left fielder, Gilkey occasionally played right field as well. He also played a small number of games as a center field, first baseman, and designated hitter. Gilkey was a right-handed batter.