1. Garrett A. Morgan, Scientist, was born in Paris, Kentucky. Inventor of a belt fastener for sewing machines, the gas mask, and the automatic traffic signal, he sold rights to General Electric for $40,000.
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2. Willie Covan, was as well-known as Bill ” Bojangles” Robinson or Buck & Bubbles, but this dancer hung up his tap shoes as a performer just before vaudeville surrendered to talking (and singing and dancing) movies. He went to Hollywood where he opened a dance studio and became MGM’s resident choreographer and dance coach to Eleanor Powell (who insisted that MGM hire him), Ann Miller, Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney.
3. Miriam Makeba, singer and civil rights activist. The Grammy Award winning artist is often referred to as Mama Afrika.
4. Bobby Womack, R&B singer/guitarist, singer-songwriter and musician. An active recording artist since the early 1960s where he started his career as the lead singer of his family musical group The Valentinos and as Sam Cooke’s backing guitarist, Womack’s career has spanned more than 40 years and has spanned a repertoire in the styles of R&B, soul, rock and roll, doo-wop, gospel, and country.
5. Michael T. “Mykelti” Williamson, actor, well known for his role “Bubba” in the 1994 film Forrest Gump.
6. Kevin Johnson, NBA Basketball Star, is the current mayor of Sacramento, California. He is Sacramento’s first African American mayor. Prior to entering politics Johnson was a basketball player in the NBA, playing point guard for the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Phoenix Suns. As a basketball player, he was a three-time NBA All-Star and five-time All-NBA selection who holds many records for the Phoenix Suns franchise.
7. Jason Marsalis, jazz drummer and member of the famous New Orleans Marsalis jazz musical family.