Nothing will motivate a man to move forward faster than knowing what's behind Him.



1. Albert L. Murray, literary and jazz critic, novelist and biographer. essayist  whose writings assert the vitality and the powerful influence of Black people in forming American traditions.

2. Mervyn Dymally,  California Democratic politician. He served in the California State Assembly (1963–1966) and the California State Senate (1967–1975), as the 41st Lieutenant Governor of California (1975–1979), and in the U.S. House of Representatives (1981–1993). After a 10-year retirement, he returned to politics to serve in the California State Assembly (2002–2008).

3. Kevin Bass, former outfielder in Major League Baseball who played for the Milwaukee Brewers, Houston Astros, San Francisco Giants, New York Mets, and Baltimore Orioles.

4. Ving Rhames, actor best known for his work in Pulp Fiction, Don King: Only in America, Baby Boy and the Mission: Impossible film series.

5. Kim Fields, Actress,  actress and television director. She is known for her roles as Tootie Ramsey on the NBC sitcom The Facts of Life, and as Regine Hunter on the Fox sitcom Living Single. She is the daughter of actress/director Chip Fieldsand the older sister of actress Alexis Fields.

Before appearing on Facts of Life, Fields starred on a short-lived sitcom called Baby, I’m Back and appeared in a commercial for Mrs. Butterworth’s pancake syrup.

She later appeared on Good Times as a friend of Penny Gordon Woods. Her real life mother, Chip Fields, starred on Good Times as the mother of Janet Jackson’s character, Penny. Interestingly the two Fields women never starred in the same episodes. Kim’s episodes on Good Times were “The Snow Storm” and “The Physical”.

Fields’ most notable role was that of Tootie on the sitcom The Facts of Life. From 1979 to 1988, she played Tootie Ramsey on the program. Even decades later, many still recognize her catchphrase, “We are in trou-ble!” She was also known for the braces she wore on the series for five seasons. When the show began filming, Fields was so short that the producers put her in roller skates during the first season so that they could avoid difficult camera angles. Ironically, however, she lost a role as Arnold Jackson’s girlfriend on The Facts of Life’s parent show, Diff’rent Strokes, because she was taller than Gary Coleman, who played Arnold.

Her real life mother Chip Fields portrayed Diane Ramsey, Tootie’s mother, on Facts of Life as well as playing Regine’s mother on Living Single.

After taking time away from acting to attend Pepperdine University, she had a starring role in the hit Fox sitcom Living Single from 1993 to 1998 as Regine Hunter.

Fields guest-starred on television series such as One on OneThe Golden Palace, and appeared as herself on HBO’s The Comeback.

6. Carla Hall,  is a chef residing in Washington, D.C. She was a finalist in the fifth and eighth seasons of Top Chef, Bravo’s cooking competition show. On April 14, 2011, it was announced that Hall will be one of 5 cohosts on The Chew, a one-hour live show centered on food from all angles. The show  premiered in September on ABC, replacing All My Children.

Hall was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee. She graduated from Howard University’s Business School with a degree in accounting in 1986. After working for two years at Price Waterhouse and obtaining a CPA certificate, she shifted focus and spent several years working as a model in the runways of Paris, Milan and London. It was in the first of these three cities that she quickly fell in love with the art of food.

Birthdays Of Famous African Americans is published daily on the What’s The Word Blog.  Feel free to paste a link to your page or subscribe.

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