1. David Walker, He published “David Walker’s Appeal” on his 44th Birthday. Walker is not recognized in school textbooks for his contribution to ending chattel slavery in the United States, yet many historians and liberation theologians cite Walker’s Appeal as an influential political and social document of the 19th century. They credit Walker for exerting a radicalizing influence on the abolitionist movements of his day and beyond.
“They think because they hold us in their infernal chains of slavery, that we wish to be white, or of their color – but they are dreadfully deceived – we wish to be just as it please our Creator to have made us, and no avaricious and unmerciful wretches, have any business to make slaves of, or hold us in slavery.”
— The Appeal, Article 1, p. 14
2. Houston Stackhouse (Houston Goff), a pivotal figure on the Southern blues scene from the 1930s through the 1960s, having worked with numerous significant blues musicians during that period, mentoring more than a few. He was a familiar figure in the small country juke joints, mainly in Arkansas and Memphis, Tennessee, and was highly respected among his fellow musicians.
4. Koko Taylor (Cora Walton), Chicago Based Blues Songstress (Wang Dang Doodle), She was known primarily for her rough, powerful vocals and traditional blues stylings. She is known for her top 10 R&B hit “Wang Dang Doodle,” written by Willie Dixon.
5. Kenny Kirkland, Jazz Pianist and Keyboardist. He is most often associated with Sting, Branford Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, and Kenny Garrett.
6. Todd Anthony Shaw, better known by his stage name Too $hort, is a rapp artist who started his career at the age of fourteen in Oakland, California. Too $hort has sold about 11 million albums in the US alone with 17 albums released and an average of 600,000 copies per album.
7. Sean Levert, (Levert) Rhythm and Blues Artist. Levert was born in Cleveland, Ohio and is the son of Eddie Levert, the lead singer of The O’Jays. He formed the trio LeVert with older brother Gerald Levert and childhood friend Marc Gordon; together they scored several hits on the R&B charts in the 1980s and early 1990s. In 1995, Sean launched a solo career with the album The Other Side on Atlantic Records. The album yielded the charting singles “Put Your Body Where Your Mouth Is” and “Same One” that same year. Sean and Gerald Levert appeared in the film New Jack City (1991) Sean also played a part in the direct-to-video Dope Case Pending (2000).
8. Raymond “Razor” Emery, Professional ice hockey goaltender. Emery has played with the Anaheim Ducks during the 2010-2011 season, Philadelphia Flyers and the Ottawa Senators of the National Hockey League (NHL) and Atlant Moscow of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). He has been awarded multiple honors. Emery led the Ottawa Senators to the Stanley Cup finals in 2007, making it the Senators first trip to the finals since 1927.