1. John Wesley Cromwell, journalist and educator, was born into slavery in Portsmouth, Virginia on September 5, 1846. After receiving freedom, Cromwell and his family moved to Philadelphia. In 1865, Cromwell returned to Portsmouth at the age of eighteen and opened a private school for freedmen in Portsmouth, , which failed due to racial harassment and replaced by programs held by the American Missionary Association.. Cromwell entered Howard University in Washington, D. C. in 1871. He received a law degree and was admitted to the bar in 1874. Cromwell was the first African American to practice law for the Interstate Commerce Commission.
Cromwell founded the weekly paper The People’s Advocate in 1876. In 1881, Cromwell was elected President of Bethel Library and Historical Association in Washington, D. C. Cromwell used this position to generate interest in African American history. He inspired the foundation of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History in 1915.
2. Sunnyland Slim (Albert Luandrew), blues pianist, who was born in the Mississippi Delta and later moved to Chicago, to contribute to that city’s post-war scene as a center for blues music. He performed with many of the popular blues musicians of the day. His stage name came from a song he composed about the Sunnyland train that ran between Memphis and St. Louis, Missouri. In 1942 he followed the great migration of southern workers to the industrial north in Chicago. Through the years Sunnyland Slim played with such musicians as Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf Robert Lockwood, Jr., and Little Walter.
3. George Allen Miles, Jr., known as Buddy Miles, was an American rock and funk drummer, most known as a founding member of The Electric Flag in 1967, then as a member of Jimi Hendrix’s Band of Gypsys from 1969 through to January 1970.
4. Terry Lynn Ellis, R&B singer best known for her work with the all female quartet En Vogue.
1. Todd Rhodes, pianist and arranger and was an early influence in jazz and later on in R&B. He was born Todd Washington Rhodes, in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. Rhodes attended both the Springfield School of Music and the Erie Conservatory, studying as pianist and songwriter.
In the early 1920s he played with Benny Carter, Coleman Hawkins, Fats Waller, Rex Stewart, Doc Cheatham, and Don Redman in McKinney’s Cotton Pickers, a jazz group. Rhodes lived and played in Detroit in the 1930s. In the late 1940s he started his own group, Todd Rhodes and His Toddlers, and started doing more R&B arrangements. With his Toddlers, he recorded “Your Daddy’s Doggin’ Around” and “Your Mouth Got a Hole In It.” Rhodes also worked with Hank Ballard, The Chocolate Dandies and Wynonie Harris He featured lead singers, such as Connie Allen, who recorded “Rocket 69” in 1951. After she left the band in early 1952, her position was taken by LaVern Baker.
2. Frank Robinson, a former Major League Baseball outfielder and manager. He played from 1956–1976, most notably for the Cincinnati Reds and the Baltimore Orioles. He is the only player to win league MVP honors in both the National and American Leagues. He won the Triple crown, was a member of two teams that won the World Series (the 1966 and 1970 Baltimore Orioles), and amassed the fourth-most career home runs at the time of his retirement (he is currently tied for eighth). Robinson was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982.
Robinson was the first African-American hired to serve as manager in Major League history. He managed the Cleveland Indians during the last two years of his playing career, compiling a 186–189 record. He went on to manage the San Francisco Giants, the Baltimore Orioles, and the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals.
3. Marva Collins, educator who in 1975 started Westside Preparatory School in Garfield Park, an impoverished neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois. She ran the school for more than 30 years until it closed in 2008 due to lack of sufficient enrollment and funding. She is famous for applying classical education successfully with impoverished students, many of whom had been wrongly labeled as learning disabled by public schools. She once wrote, “I have discovered few learning disabled students in my three decades of teaching. I have, however, discovered many, many victims of teaching inabilities.” She has written a number of manuals, books and motivational tracts describing her history and methods, and currently (2006) has a website and public speaking service. She was most widely publicized in the 1981 biographical TV movie The Marva Collins Story starring Cicely Tyson and Morgan Freeman.
4. Wilton Felder, is both a saxophone and bass player, and is best known as a founding member of The Crusaders, initially called the Jazz Crusaders. Felder, Wayne Henderson, Joe Sample, and Stix Hooper founded the group while in high school in Houston. The Jazz Crusaders evolved from a straight-ahead jazz combo into a pioneering jazz-rock fusion group, with a definite soul music influence. Felder worked with the original group for over thirty years, and continues to work in its current versions, which often feature other founding members.
5. Claudell Washington, former right fielder in Major League Baseball who played for the Oakland Athletics (1974–76), Texas Rangers (1977–78), Chicago White Sox (1978–80), New York Mets (1980), Atlanta Braves (1981–86), New York Yankees (1987–88, 1990) and California Angels (1989–90). He batted and threw left-handed.
Washington was one of the youngest All-Stars in major league history when he was named to the 1975 American League All-Star team at the age of 20. He finished 5th in the American league in batting average with a mark of .308 and second in stolen bases with a total of 40.
6. Chris Tucker, is an actor and comedian, best known for his roles as Detective James Carter in the Rush Hour trilogy and Smokey in the 1995 film Friday.
7. Larry Waddell, Rhythm & Blues Artist (Mint Condition)
1. Rose McClendon born Rose Virginia Scott McClendon, wa a leading Broadway actress of the 1920s. Rose McClendon, the “Negro first lady of the dramatic stage” was born in Greenville, SC under the name of Rosalie Virginia Scott. Rose was born circa in 1885 in South Carolina and as a child relocated to New York City. She started acting in church plays as a child, but did not become a professional actress until she won a scholarship to the American Academy of Dramatic Art, when she was in her thirties.
Her first claim to fame came in Deep River, a “native opera with jazz”, in 1926. In addition to acting, she also directed several plays at the Harlem Experimental Theatre.
She was a contemporary of Paul Robeson, Ethel Barrymore, Lynne Fontanne and Langston Hughes. Hughes wrote a character for her in his 1935 play, Mulatto. Her talent extended to directing as well as acting. She co-founded the Negro People’s Theatre in Harlem (1935). A year later McClendon died of pneumonia. Her co-founder and his wife, Dick Campbell and Murial Rahn, founded the Rose McClendon players.
2. Lester Willis Young, nicknamed “Prez”, was an American jazz tenor saxophonist and clarinetist. He also played trumpet, violin, and drums. Coming to prominence while a member of Count Basie’s orchestra, Young was one of the most influential players on his instrument, playing with a cool tone and using sophisticated harmonies. He invented or popularized much of the hipster ethos which came to be associated with the music.
3. Yolanda Adams, (born Yolanda Yvette Adams) is an American Grammy- and Dove-award winning Gospel music singerand radio show host. As of September 2009, she had sold 4.5 million albums since 1991 in the United States, according to SoundScan. On December 11, 2009 Billboard Magazine named her the 1st Gospel Artist of the last decade. In the same chart, her album “Mountain High…Valley Low” was acknowledged as the best gospel album.
4. Eric Bobo (born Eric Correa), son of Latin jazz musician Willie Bobo, is a percussionist and is a member of the bandsCypress Hill, and has also performed and recorded with the Beastie Boys throughout the 90s. He released his debut album Meeting Of The Minds on November 18, 2008 on Nacional Records.
5. Chandra Danette Wilson, actress and director, best known for her role as Dr. Miranda Bailey on the ABC television drama, Grey’s Anatomy. Born in Houston, Texas. She started her theater career at the age of five with the Houston-based Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS). Wilson attended Houston’s High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and went on to the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, where she earned a BFA in drama.
6. Mase, Mason Durell Betha, Better known by stage name Mase (often type set as Ma$e) who was previously known asMurda Ma$e, is an American rapper, songwriter, actor and inspirational speaker. He was an artist on Sean “Diddy” Combs’s hip hop label Bad Boy Records during the late 1990s
7. Julie Dorne Brown, also known as Downtown Julie Brown (born 27 August 1959), is an English actress and former MTV VJ. Her father was in the Royal Air Force and she grew up on Air Force bases all around the world including England, Singapore, India and Cyprus and finally settled in Bridgend, Wales. After winning the UK Disco Dancing Championships she went on to win the World Disco Dancing Championship in 1979, soon after Brown began a career on British television as presenter and guest on a number of children’s programs, including the long-running entertainment show Crackerjack.
Brown became a presenter on pan-European music channel Music Box and eventually became an MTV VJ and went on to host the Club MTV show in the late 1980s. The show had a similar format to American Bandstand, but featured an exclusive lineup of dance music. From this came her famous catchphrase, “Wubba Wubba Wubba.”
1. William “Count” Basie, was a jazz pianist, organist, bandleader, and composer. Basie led his jazz orchestra almost continuously for nearly 50 years. Many notable musicians came to prominence under his direction, including tenor saxophonists Lester Young and Herschel Evans, trumpeters Buck Clayton and Harry “Sweets” Edison and singers Jimmy Rushing and Joe Williams. Basie’s theme songs were “One O’Clock Jump” and “April In Paris”.
2. Savannah Churchill, was a successful singer of pop, jazz, and blues music in the 1940s and 1950s. Born Savannah Valentine to Creole parents, she was raised in Brooklyn, and started singing in 1941 to support her family after her husband David Churchill was killed in a car accident. Her first recordings, including the risqué “Fat Meat Is Good Meat”, were issued on Beacon Records in 1942. These were followed the next year by recordings on Capitol with the Benny Carter Orchestra, including her first hit “Hurry, Hurry”.In 1945 she signed with Manor Records, and that year “Daddy Daddy” reached # 3 on the R&B chart. Two years later she had her only R&B # 1 with “I Want To Be Loved (But Only By You)”, which topped the charts for eight weeks. The record was billed as being with vocal group The Sentimentalists, who soon renamed themselves The Four Tunes. Subsequent recordings with The Four Tunes, including “Time Out For Tears” (# 10 R&B, # 24 pop) and “I Want To Cry”, both in 1948, were also successful.
3. Art Farmer, jazz trumpeter and flugelhornplayer. He also played flumpet, a trumpet/flugelhorn combination designed for him by David Monette. His identical twin brother, Addison Farmer, was a bassist.
4. Melvin Van Peebles Sr, Famed Actor- Director, writer, dramatist. Multi-talented father of famed director/actor Mario Van Peebles, is most famous as the director and writer of the revolutionary cult classic “Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song” (1971), which hailed a new era of African-American centered films. Three decades after the film’s success, Mario directed, scripted and starred in the acclaimed “How to Get the Man’s Foot Outta Your Ass” (2003), which told the story of the making of his dad’s landmark movie. Starting out painting portraits in Mexico, he worked in theater in Holland and made his first feature length film, “The Story of a Three-Day Pass” (1968), while living in France, where he also began writing novels and released his first record, “Brer Soul” (1969). The movie received a major prize at the San Francisco Film Festival and became his Hollywood calling card. He created the movie after making his U.S. debut with “The Watermelon Man” (1970). Van Peebles also wrote the successful Broadway “Don’t Play Us Cheap” (1972), scripted “Panther”(1995), a controversial film about the Black Panther Party which is directed by and starred Mario, wrote and helmed the award-winning “Conte du ventre plein, Le/Bellyful” (2000). Recently, he wrote the screenplay and directed “Confessionsofa Ex-Doofus-ItchyFooted Mutha” (2008) and won a Daytime Emmy Award after writing the teleplay for “The Day They Came to Arrest the Book”, a presentation of “CBS Schoolbreak Specials” in 1987. As an actor, Van Peebles appeared with Mario in the short-lived series “Sonny Spoon” (1987-1990), “Identity Crisis” (1989), “Posse” (1993), directed by Mario, and the Jonathan Kesselman “The Hebrew Hammer” (2003). TV audiences recently recognized him playing Melvin Woods in an episode of “All My Children” (2008).
5. Wilton Norman “Wilt” Chamberlain, was a professional NBA basketball player for the Philadelphia/San Francisco Warriors, the Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Lakers; he also played for the Harlem Globetrotters prior to playing in the NBA. The 7 foot 1 inch Chamberlain weighed 250 lbs as a rookie before bulking up to 275 lb and eventually over 300 lb with the Lakers. He played the center position and is considered by his contemporaries as one of the greatest and most dominant players in the history of the NBA.
6. Clarence Williams III, is an actor. His first major acting role was as Lincoln B. Hayes on Aaron Spelling’s TV series The Mod Squad. He has guest-starred in television shows such as Hill Street Blues, Miami Vice, The Highwayman, Twin Peaks, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Burn Notice, Everybody Hates Chris, and in a recurring role as Philby Cross in the Mystery Woman movie series on the Hallmark Channel. He has appeared in feature films such as Life, Sugar Hill, The Cool World, Deep Cover, Tales from the Hood, Half-Baked, Hoodlum, I’m Gonna Get You Sucka, The Legend of 1900, and Purple Rain. He also played a supportive role as George Wallace’s fictional African-American butler and caretaker in the 1997 TNT TV Movie George Wallace.
7. Loretta Devine, is a film and television actress known for her roles on Boston Public, Grey’s Anatomy, and Eli Stone. She also provided her voice for the stop motion animated television series The PJs. Devine is a five-time NAACP Image Award winner.
8. Kim Sledge, Singer, Member of Sister Sledge (We Are Family), Sister Sledge is an American musical group from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, formed in 1972 and consisting of four sisters: Kim Sledge (born August 21, 1958), Debbie Sledge (born July 9, 1954), Joni Sledge (born September 13, 1956), and Kathy Sledge(born January 6, 1959).All the sisters are granddaughters of the former opera singer Viola Williams. The sisters used to perform under the name of ‘Mrs. Williams’ Grandchildren’.
9 Kelis Rogers, musical artist. She is a BRIT Award, Q Award and NME Award winner and has been nominated for two Grammy Awards. She is known for her hit single “Milkshake”. Kelis appeared on Moby’s Area One Tour, supported U2 on the European leg of their Elevation Tour and headlined her own All Hearts Tour with Robyn.
1. Curtis Jones, Jones played guitar whilst young but switched to piano after a move to Dallas. In 1936 he relocated to Chicago, where he recorded between 1937 and 1941 on Vocalion Records, Bluebird Records, and Okeh Records. Among his best-known tunes from these recordings were the hit “Lonesome Bedroom Blues” and the song “Tin Pan Alley”. World War II interrupted his recording career, which he did not resume until 1953.
2. Rafer Johnson, World-renowned track and field star, In 1968, he worked on the presidential election campaign of Robert F. Kennedy and helped Rosey Grier apprehend Sirhan Sirhan immediately after Sirhan had assassinated Kennedy.
3. Maxine Brown, R&B Artist, smooth soul ballad “All in My Mind” (which was written by Maxine) late in the year. The single became a hit, climbing to number two on the R&B charts (number 19 pop), and it was quickly followed by “Funny”, which peaked at number three.
4. Rickey Green, retired American professional basketball player in the NBA. The 6’0″ point guard from the University of Michigan and Vincennes University was selected with the 16th pick in the 1977 NBA Draft, and competed in 14 seasons, playing for the Golden State Warriors, Detroit Pistons, Utah Jazz, Charlotte Hornets, Milwaukee Bucks, Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers, and Boston Celtics. His highlight season was in 1982-83 with the Utah Jazz, when he averaged 14.3 points, 8.9 assists and 2.82 steals per game, and represented them the following year in the 1984 NBA All-Star Game. He retired in 1992 with NBA career totals of 8,870 points and 5,221 assists in 946 games. In 1982, as a member of the Utah Jazz, Green scored the five millionth point scored in NBA history since 1946
5. Malcolm Jamal Warner, actor, film director, and musician. He is best known for his role as Theo Huxtable on the long-running NBC sitcom The Cosby Show. Additionally, he appeared as Malcolm McGee on the UPN sitcomMalcolm & Eddie.
1. Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Jr., was a publisher, journalist, entrepreneur, Black Nationalist, Pan-Africanist, and orator. Marcus Garvey was founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA-ACL). Prior to the twentieth century, leaders such as Prince Hall, Martin Delany, Edward Wilmot Blyden, and Henry Highland Garnet advocated the involvement of the African diaspora in African affairs.
2. Albert Washington, Singer and songwriter, spent most of his career singing in the blues clubs around Cincinnati, Ohio and his home in Long Island, N.Y. Washington, who is blind, released two recordings for Iris Records in the 1990s, Step It Up and Go in 1993 and A Brighter Day in 1994.
3. Luther Allison, Blues vocalist and blues guitarist. He was born in Widener, Arkansas and moved with his family, at age twelve, to Chicago in 1951.He taught himself guitar and began listening to blues extensively. Three years later he began hanging outside blues nightclubs with the hopes of being invited to perform. He played with Howlin’ Wolf’s band and backed James Cotton.
4. Alex Cole, former Major League Baseball outfielder. Drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2nd round of the 1985 MLB amateur draft, Cole would make his Major League debut with the Cleveland Indians on July 27, 1990, and appear in his final game on May 22, 1996. Known as a stolen base threat (Cole ranked fourth in the American League in 1990 with 40 stolen bases), the Indians in 1991 cited his speed as a prime reason for moving the outfield walls of Cleveland Municipal Stadium back. This effort, however, resulted in the Indians hitting only 22 home runs at home for the year. After being traded from the Indians midway through the 1992 season, Cole briefly played with the Pittsburgh Pirates before becoming a member of the inaugural Colorado Rockies team in 1993.
6. Barbara George (Barbara Ann Smith) Songstress, R&B singer and songwriter
7. Carol Moseley Braum, Former US Senator, politician and lawyer who represented Illinois in the United States Senate from 1993 to 1999.
8. Reginald Vel Johnson- Actor Carl Winslow on the sitcom Family Matters, where he was the only cast member to appear in every single episode. He was also LAPD Sgt. Al Powell in the film Die Hard (1988) and its sequel Die Hard 2 (1990).
9. Angela Evelyn Bassett- Actress, (Waiting to Exhale, ER, The Jacksons, What’s Love Got To Do With It)
2. Buster Brown (Wayman Glasco), Blues singer and harmonica player
3. Oscar Peterson, master of the traditionally developed jazz piano, He was called the “Maharaja of the keyboard
4. Jackie Brenston, R&B singer and saxophonist who recorded, with Ike Turner ‘s band
5. Bobby Byrd, Co-founded the Famous Flames with James Brown
6. Maxine Waters, Most powerful woman if California’s Political circles
7. Anthony Anderson, actor, comedian, and writer. He has starred in his own sitcom All About the Andersons, as well as the Fox sitcom The Bernie Mac Show during the fifth and final season of the show. He is also known for his leading roles in television dramas such as K-Ville, The Shield and Law & Order. He has also had supporting roles in films such as Transformers, The Departed, and Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London. Starring Rolls in “Hustle and Flow”, “Two Can Play That Game” and “Kingdome Come.”
1. Ernest Everett Just, Was a pioneering biologist, academic and science writer. Just’s primary legacy is his recognition of the fundamental role of the cell surface in the development of organisms. In his work within marine biology, cytology and parthenogenesis, he advocated the study of whole cells under normal conditions, rather than simply breaking them apart in a laboratory setting.
2. Dr. Herman Branson , was a physicist, best known for his research on the alpha helix protein structure, and was also the president of two colleges.
Branson received his B.S. from Virginia State College in 1936, and his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Cincinnati, under the direction of Boris Padowski, in 1939. After a stint at Dillard University, he joined Howard University in 1941 as an assistant professor of physics and chemistry. He remained at Howard for 27 years, achieving increasingly important positions, eventually becoming head of the physics department, director of a program in experimental science and mathematics, and working on the Office of Naval Research and Atomic Energy Commission Projects in Physics at Howard University.
3. Larry Graham, baritonesinger, musician, songwriter, and record producer. He is best known as both the bass guitarplayer in the popular and influential psychedelic soul/funk band Sly & the Family Stone, and as the founder and frontman of Graham Central Station. He is credited with the invention of the slapping technique, which radically expanded the tonal palette of the bass, although he himself refers to the technique as “Thumpin’ and Pluckin’.” Larry
Graham is ranked #3 on Digital Dreamdoor’s list of “100 Greatest Rock Bass Guitarists of All Time.
4. Jackee Harry, better known by her professional name of just Jackée, is an actress and television personality, primarily known for her roles on sitcoms and other types of television shows. She is best known for her roles as Sandra Clark, the sexy neighbor and nemesis of Mary Jenkins (played by Marla Gibbs), on the TV series 227 (a role she played from 1985 to 1989), and as Tia’s mother, Lisa Landry, in the long-running comedy, Sister, Sister.
5. Earvin (Magic) Johnson, Jr., retired professional basketball player who played point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). After winning championships in high school and college, Johnson was selected first overall in the 1979 NBA Draft by the Lakers. He won a championship and an NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award in his rookie season, and won four more championships with the Lakers during the 1980s. Johnson retired abruptly in 1991 after announcing that he had contracted the HIV virus, but returned to play in the 1992 All-Star Game, winning the All-Star MVP Award. After protests from his fellow players, he retired again for four years, but returned in 1996, at age 37, to play 32 games for the Lakers before retiring for the third and final time.
Johnson’s career achievements include three NBA MVP Awards, nine NBA Finalsappearances, twelve All-Star games, and ten All-NBA First and Second Team nominations. He led the league in regular-season assists four times, and is the NBA’s all-time leader in assists per game, with an average of 11.2.Johnson was a member of the “Dream Team”, the U.S. basketball team that won the Olympic gold medal in 1992. Johnson was honored as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996, and enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002
6. Halle Berry, actress, former fashion model, and beauty queen. Berry received an Emmy, Golden Globe, SAG, and an NAACP Image Award for Introducing Dorothy Dandridge and won an Academy Award for Best Actress and was also nominated for a BAFTA Award in 2001 for her performance in Monster’s Ball, becoming the first and, as of 2009, only woman of African American descent to have won the award for Best Actress. She is one of the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood.
1. James B. Parsons, first African American appointed to a lifetime federal judgeship in the U.S.2. Charles Edward Anderson the first African American to earn a Ph.D. in Meteorology.
3. Jimmy McCracklin- West coast blues singers
4. Dave (Baby) Cortez, Rock-n-roll organist
5. Frank (Son) Seals, Chicago blues guitarist
6. Kathleen Battle, operatic soprano, winner of Grammy awards in 1987 and 1988.
7. Dawnn Lewis, actress and singer, perhaps best known for her roles on sitcoms such as A Different World and in the first season of Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper.
8. Dennis Powell, Major League Baseball Player
9. John Lester Johnson, Actor and Boxer. He starred in the Our Gang 1933 classic “The Kid From Borneo” as ‘Bumbo. Yum, Yum Eat’m Up’. He was a bit part actor in the 1920s through 1940s. He was also a heavyweight boxer who fought in the first integrated professional boxing event on July 13, 1916, against then unknown opponent Jack Dempsey.