1. Roscoe Robinson, Jr., was a four-star general in the United States Army. He attended St. Louis University for only a year and then transferred to the United States Military Academyat West Point in 1947. Robinson graduated with a degree in military engineering in 1951. After graduating he served in the Korean War in 1952 as a platoon leader and rifle company commander. For his actions he received the Bronze Star. Sent back to the United States a year later he became an instructor in the Airborne Department of the United States Army Infantry School. Robinson then went on to graduate from theCommand and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas in 1963. The following year he received his masters degree from the University of Pittsburgh in international affairs. In 1967 he served as battalion commander in Vietnam. For his achievements there he received the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, 11 Air Medals, and two Silver Stars.
After Vietnam he served at the National War College for three years as the executive officer to the Chief of Staff. He was promoted to Brigadier General and in 1975 became Commanding General of the United States Army Garrison, Okinawa. He also commanded America’s Guard of Honor, the 82nd Airborne Division, as a Major General at Fort Bragg, North Carolina in 1976 and was renowned for earning the love and respect of his men, his fellow Paratroopers, during his Command – which was noteworthy for, General Robinson was, the first African-American to Command The All-American Division. His final assignment was as U.S. Military Representative to the NATO Military Committee from 1982-1985. After he had completed 34 years of service to the U.S. military he retired in 1985. He was then awarded with the Defense Distinguished Service Medal and two Distinguished Service Medals. After his retirement, he was asked to look over a panel of people who were examining the Korean War performance of some highly criticized army units. He also served on the board of Northwest Airlines. In April 2000 there was a ceremony and a dedication at West Point for a new auditorium, named “General Roscoe Robinson, Jr. Auditorium” in his honor. The Roscoe Robinson Health Clinic at Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg is also named in his honor.
2. Art Blakey, known later as Abdullah Ibn Buhaina, Was a jazz drummer and bandleader. Along with Kenny Clarke and Max Roach, he was one of the inventors of the modern bebop style of drumming. He is known as a powerful musician and a vital groover; his brand of bluesy, funky hard bop was and continues to be profoundly influential on mainstream jazz. For more than 30 years his band, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers included many young musicians who went on to become prominent names in jazz. The band’s legacy is thus not only known for the often exceptionally fine music it produced, but as a proving ground for several generations of jazz musicians; Blakey’s groups are matched only by those ofMiles Davis in this regard.
3. Earle Hyman, stage, television, and film actor. Hyman is known for his recurring role on The Cosby Show as Cliff’s father, Russell Huxtable.
4. Lester Bowie, was an American jazz trumpet player, Percussionist, Vocalist and composer. He was a member of the AACM, and cofounded the Art Ensemble of Chicago.
5. Curtis Glenn Ford, is a former professional baseball player who played in the Major Leagues from 1985-1990. He played for the St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies. He briefly played for the Saskatoon Smokin’ Guns of the Prairie Baseball League in 1996. In May 2010, Ford was announced as the new manager of the Springfield Sliders, a wood-bat collegiate baseball team in the Prospect League. The team plays at Lanphier Park in Springfield, Ill.
6. MC Lyte, Rapp Artists who first gained fame in the late 1980s becoming the first solo female rapper to release a full album with 1988’s critically acclaimed Lyte as a Rock.
7. Kimberly Aiken, Youngest Miss America 1994. Aiken was 18 years old when she won the coveted title, and was only the fifth woman of African descent to get the crown. She won Miss Columbia and Miss South Carolina en route to her 1994 Miss America crown.