1. Patricia Roberts Harris, lawyer, political activist, and educator, served as United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, andUnited States Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare (which office later became United States Secretary of Health and Human Services) in the administration of President Jimmy Carter. She was the first African American woman to serve as a United StatesAmbassador, representing the U.S. in Luxembourg under President Lyndon B. Johnson, and the first to enter the line of succession to the Presidency.
2. Shirley Verrett, operatic mezzo-soprano who successfully transitioned into soprano roles i.e. soprano sfogato. Verrett enjoyed great fame from the late 1960s through the 1990s, particularly well-known for singing the works of Verdi and Donizetti.
3. Al Young, poet, novelist, essayist, screenwriter, and professor. On May 15, 2005 he was named Poet Laureate of Californiaby Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. In appointing Young as Poet Laureate, the Governor praised him: “He is an educator and a man with a passion for the Arts. His remarkable talent and sense of mission to bring poetry into the lives of Californians is an inspiration.” Muriel Johnson, Director of the California Arts Council declared: “Like jazz, Al Young is an original American voice.” Young’s many books include novels, collections of poetry, essays, and memoirs. His work has appeared in literary journals and magazines including Paris Review,Ploughshares, Essence, The New York Times, Chicago Review, Seattle Review, Brilliant Corners: A Journal of Jazz & Literature, Chelsea, Rolling Stone, Gathering of the Tribes,and in anthologies including the Norton Anthology of African American Literature, and the Oxford Anthology of African American Literature.
4. Margaret Sloan-Hunter, was a feminist, and civil rights advocate, and one of the founding editors of Ms. Magazine.
When she was 14, she joined the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), a group that worked on poverty and urban issues on behalf of the African-American community in Chicago. At age 17, she founded the Junior Catholic Inter-Racial Council, a mix of suburban and inner-city students who talked about and worked on racial problems. In 1966, Sloan-Hunter worked with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and in the Open Housing Marches.
In 1973, she founded the National Black Feminist Organization (NBFO), which tackled some of the same race and feminist issues. In 1975, she and her daughter moved to Oakland, California, where they established the Women’s Foundation. Sloan-Hunter also helped organize the Berkeley Women’s Center and the Feminist School for Girls.
Sloan-Hunter published a book of poetry called Black & Lavender in 1995.
5. DMC (Daryl McDanials), Rapp Artist, musician. He is one of the pioneers of hip hop culture and founding members of the hip hop group Run-D.M.C.
6. Kenny Lofton, former Major League Baseball outfielder. He batted and threw left-handed. During his career he played for the Houston Astros, Cleveland Indians, Atlanta Braves, Chicago White Sox, San Francisco Giants, Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Texas Rangers.