• Kwame Brathwaite
    Kwame Brathwaite born Gilbert Ronald Brathwaite was an American photojournalist and activist best known for popularizing the phrase "Black is Beautiful". He adopted the name Kwame in the early 1960s, a tribute to Kwame Nkrumah, the first leader of post-colonial Ghana. In 1956 Brathwaite founded the African Jazz Art Society and Studios. In 1962, together with his brother Elombe Brath, Brathwaite staged the Naturally '62 pageant, the first of a series of pageants to feature only black models title...  more
  • Elayne Viola Jones
    Elayne Viola Jones was an American timpanist known for being the first African American woman principal player in a major American orchestra with the San Francisco Symphony in 1972. She was also known for her legal battle over racial and sexual discrimination after she was denied tenure. In 2019 Jones was also elected in the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame. Viola Jones was born in New York, the only child of immigrants Cecil and Ometa Jones from Barbados. Her mother was a pianist who never ...  more
  • Joyce Bryant
    Joyce Bryant was an American singer, dancer and civil rights activist. She was one of the major black nightclub and theater singers in the 1950s often referred to as the bronze blond bombshell and the Black Marilyn Monroe. Bryant was born in Oakland, California the third of eight children. Her career began in 1946 when she was visiting her cousins in Los Angeles, she agreed on a dare to participate in an impromptu singalong at a local club she started singing and drew the eye of the club owner w...  more
  • Colin Luther Powell
    Colin Powell was a retired, four-star general who served as 65th secretary of state during former President George W. Bush’s era from 2001 to 2005. Powell was born to working-class Jamaican immigrants and used the American military to forge a path toward full citizenship rights that were not available to most Black Americans when he began his career in the armed forces. For a time, after victory in the first Gulf war in 1991, he was the most popular man in USA. Such was his prominence that Powel...  more
  • Junior Mance
    Julian Clifford Mance, Jr. (better known as “Junior Mance”) was a musical genius. The iconic American composer and jazz artist was born into a talented musical family. He began tickling the ivories at just five years-old. His father, Julian, taught him to play stride piano and boogie-woogie. He had his first professional performance at the tender age of ten. He was drafted into the US Army during the Korean War and served in the military for two years. Then, he promptly started playing gig...  more
  • Jonas Mosa Gwangwa
    Jonas Mosa Gwangwa, whose life embodied South African people's struggle for a national culture, was a celebrated musician, trombonist, songwriter and producer who was also a culture and anti-apartheid activist. Schoolboy Gwangwa, borrowed his lifetime trademark: a jaunty black beret and started out as a trombonist with The Jazz Epistles in the South African music scene where he gained initial fame and later abroad after the short-lived group disbanded. Equally active in politics, he helped organ...  more
  • Eric Jerome Dickey
    Eric Jerome Dickey was a prolific author whose novels depicted romance, erotica and suspense from the Black perspective, including 'Milk in My Coffee', 'Sleeping with Strangers', 'Sister, Sister' , 'Finding Gideon' and ' Friends and Lovers'. Dickey published 29 novels, in his conversational writing style, translated into more than 7 million books being sold worldwide. Graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Mempis University in 1983, Dickey pursued a career in engineering working as a software...  more
  • MF Doom
    Daniel Dumile, renowned by his stage name MF Doom and relatively also as Doom, Zev Love X, King Geedorah, Viktor Vaughn, Metal Fingers or Metal Face, was a British-American rapper and record producer, well known for elaborate wordplay, supervillain stage personality, and signature metal mask which he never removed in public. Born in London but moved to New York as a child, he performed in hip-hop group KMD as teenager. Following the loss of his younger brother and bandmate DJ Subroc, he disap...  more
  • Jackson Mphikwa Mthembu
    Jackson Mphikwa Mthembu was a South African politician who served as Minister in the Presidency during Cyril Ramaphosa presidency from 2019 till his time of death. He was the national spokesperson of the ANC under President Nelson Mandela from 1995 – 1997, appointed to the same role again from 2009 – 2014. He served as the Chief Whip of the ANC in the National Assembly from 2016 up to the end of the 5th term of parliament in 2019.

    Born and bred in Witbank (Emalahleni) in 1958, he was raised by ...  more
  • Lonnie Norman
    Lonnie Norman served as the first black Mayor of Manchester, a small Middle Tennessee city, in 1991, and then again from 2012 to 2020 at the time of his death. He provided support for the popular Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival held every year in Manchester, but above his accomplishments as a local leader, he was a cherished member of the community.

    In August 2020, Norman was elected to his third term as mayor of Manchester, a town with a population of nearly 10,000 people in Coffee County. A...  more
  • Louis Clark Brock
    Lou Brock, the first-ballot electee into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, was one of baseball's signature leadoff hitters and base stealers who helped the St. Louis Cardinals win three pennants and two World Series titles in the 1960s. Brock played 19 seasons in Major League Baseball, with 16 of those for the Cardinals. He is one of 32 players to hit 3,000 hits or more and had the all-time leader in stolen bases in MLB history with 938 in 1979 when he retired, surpassed by Rickey H...  more