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


1. Valaida Snow, jazz musician and entertainer, She was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Raised on the road in a show-business family, she learned to play cello, bass, banjo, violin, mandolin, harp, accordion, clarinet, trumpet, andsaxophone at professional levels by the time she was 15. She also sang and danced.

After focusing on the trumpet, she quickly became so famous at the instrument that she was named “Little Louis” after Louis Armstrong, who used to call her the world’s second best jazz trumpet player besides himself. She played concerts throughout the USA, Europe and China.

Her most successful period was in the 1930s when she became the toast of London and Paris. Around this time she recorded her hit song, “High Hat, Trumpet, and Rhythm.” She performed in the Ethel Waters show, “Rhapsody In Black”, in New York. In the mid-30s she made films with her husband, Ananias Berry, of the Berry Brothers dancing troupe. After playing New York’s Apollo Theater, she revisited Europe and the Far East for more shows and films.

2. Dorothy West, was a novelist and short story writer who was part of the Harlem Renaissance. She is best known for her novel The Living Is Easy, about the life of an upper-class black family.

3. Charlie Sifford, former professional golfer who helped to desegregate the PGA of America. Sifford was born in Charlotte, North Carolina. He began work as a caddy at the age of thirteen. Later he competed in the golf tournaments that black golfers organized for themselves as they were excluded from the PGA of America, and worked as a personal golf coach for band leader Billy Eckstine. He first attempted to qualify for a PGA Tour event at the 1952 Phoenix Open, using an invitation obtained by former World heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis and was subjected to threats and racial abuse there and at other tournaments. In 1957 he won the Long Beach Open, which was not an official PGA Tour event, but was co-sponsored by the PGA and had some well known white players in the field. He became a member of the Tour in 1961 and went on to win two official money events. He also won the 1975 PGA Seniors’ Championship, then the leading tournament for golfers over fifty.

In 2004, Sifford became the first African American inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. He chose the fellow Hall of Fame member South African Gary Player to present him for induction. On June 22, 2006, he received an honorary degree from the University of St Andrews as a Doctor of Laws. He also received the 2007 Old Tom Morris Award from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, GCSAA’s highest honor.

 

4. Sammy Turner, Singer, He was signed to Big Top Records late in the 1950s, and his releases featured production from Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller.   He scored several hits on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1959 and 1960; the biggest were “Lavender-Blue”, a #3 chart record on the Billboard Hot 100, and originally a hit for Sammy Kaye in 1949, and “Always”, a #1 hit for Vincent Lopez in 1926.  Later in the 1960s Turner recorded for Motown Records.

5. Jimmy Jones, singer-songwriter, who moved to New York while a teenager.   According to Allmusic journalist, Steve Huey, “best known for his 1960 R&B smash, “Handy Man,” Jones sang in a smooth yet soulful falsetto modeled on the likes of Clyde McPhatter and Sam Cooke.”

6. Antone Lee Tavares, R&B Artist (Tavares)  66  Years ago

7. Clarence Page, journalist, syndicated columnist, and senior member of The Chicago Tribune editorial board.

8. Kenneth Irvine Chenault, CEO and Chairman of American Express since 2001.  He is the third African-American CEO of a Fortune 500 company.

9. Cornel Ronald West (born June 2, 1953) is an American philosopher, author, critic, actor, civil rights activist and prominent member of theDemocratic Socialists of America. West is the Class of 1943 University Professor at Princeton University, where he teaches in the Center forAfrican American Studies and in the Department of Religion. West is known for his combination of political and moral insight and criticism and his contribution to the post-1960s civil rights movement.

The bulk of his work focuses on the role of race, gender, and class in American society and the means by which people act and react to their “radical conditionedness.” West draws intellectual contributions from such diverse traditions as the African American Baptist Church, pragmatism and transcendentalism.

10. Dennis Dexter Haysbert, film and television actor. He is known for portraying Nelson Mandela in Goodbye Bafana (also released under the name The Color of Freedom), baseball player Pedro Cerrano in the Major League film trilogy, President David Palmer on the American television series 24, and Sergeant Major Jonas Blane in The Unit, as well as his work in commercials for Allstate insurance. He is also known for his authoritative, bass voice.

11. Darnell Coles, former Major League Baseball and Nippon Professional Baseball player who played primarily as a third baseman and outfielder from 1983 to 1997. He is currently the hitting coordinator for the Milwaukee Brewers’ player development staff.

12. Louis Freese,  better known by his stage name B-Real, Rapper, film and TV actor.   He is best known for being the lead rapper in hip hop group Cypress Hill, who debuted with their self-titled albumCypress Hill in 1991.

13. Wayne Alphonso Brady, actor, singer, comedian and television personality, known for his work as a regular on the American version of the improvisational comedy television series Whose Line Is It Anyway?, and as the host of the daytime talk show The Wayne Brady Show. He was the host of FOX’s Don’t Forget the Lyrics!, and currently hosts the 2009 revival of Let’s Make a Deal.

14. Freddy Adu, soccer player for Bank Asya 1. Lig club Çaykur Rizespor, on loan from Benfica.

Adu was born in Tema, Ghana, before emigrating to the United States at the age of eight and becoming a citizen in 2003. He also has played for the United States national team, though he was not named in the 30-man preliminary squad or the final 23-man squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

At the age of 14, he became one of the youngest athletes to sign a professional contract in the United States, after he was selected by D.C. United in the 2004 MLS SuperDraft. On April 3, 2004, he became the youngest player to appear in a Major League Soccer (MLS) game when he came on as a substitute in a game against the San Jose Earthquakes. Two weeks later, on April 17, he became the youngest scorer in MLS history, scoring a goal in a 3–2 loss to the MetroStars.

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