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


1. Edward Wilmot Blyden, Black Nationalist and Repatriations advocate.

2. Horace R. Cayton, sociologist and writer.

3. Mercy Dee Walton, Blues pianist, singer and songwriter, whose compositions ran the gamut from lowdown blues to jumping R&B numbers. According to journalist Tony Russell in his book The Blues – From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray, “Walton created a series of memorable blues about the unattractiveness of rural life, sardonically aimed at the black migrant workers in southern California who constituted his typical audience.

4. Charlie Shavers, one of the best-known trumpeters in the big-band era

5. Eddie Jefferson, celebrated jazz vocalist and lyricist. He is credited with having invented vocalese, a musical style in which lyrics are set to an instrumental composition or solo. Perhaps his best-known song is “Moody’s Mood for Love”, though it was first recorded by King Pleasure, who cited Jefferson as an influence. Jefferson’s songs “Parker’s Mood” and “Filthy McNasty” were also hits.

6. Jo Marie Payton-Noble, Actress, Harriette Winslow, Family Matters

7. Mercy Dee Walton, Vocalist and pianist

8. Isaiah Washington, is an NAACP Image Award- and Screen Actors Guild-winning actor. A veteran of several Spike Lee films, Washington is best known for his role as Dr. Preston Burke on the ABC medical drama Grey’s Anatomy

9. Lucky Philip Dube, South African reggae musician. He recorded 22 albums in Zulu, English and Afrikaans in a 25-year period and was South Africa’s biggest selling reggae artist.

10. Michael Ealy (Michael Brown), Actor, Barber Shop, Barber Shop II

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