1. Fannie M. Richards, an educator and civil rights activist, moved to Detroit with her family in the 1850s. She received her early education in the Detroit public schools before going to Toronto, Ontario, where she studied English, history and drawing. Returning to Detroit, Richards opened a private school for African Americans in 1863. Two years later, she was appointed to teach in Detroit’s segregated Colored School No. 2. In 1869, Richards and others, including future Republican governor John Bagley, filed suit with the Michigan Supreme Court, arguing that segregated public schools were unconstitutional. The court agreed, and in 1871 Richards became the first African American teacher in Detroit’s newly integrated school system.
2. Georgie “Wild Child” Butler, Bluesman, Harmonica. Wild Child made a name for himself in the 50’s and early 60’s playing in Chicago and the rural juke joints in Alabama. He first recorded in 1964 and then hooked up with the legendary Willie Dixon who produced four Wild Child singles for Jewel Records from 1966 to 1968. Those sessions were highlighted by the dual harp numbers featuring Wild Child and the great Big Walter Horton.
Wild Child Butler’s resume is top notch. He has toured with Jimmy Rogers, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Cousin Joe and Roosevelt Sykes. His last two recordings were released in the ’90s on Rounder Records. Wild Child’s biggest influence is Sonny Boy Williamson II and yet his sound is all his own. A prolific songwriter, Wild Child Butler performs mostly his own compositions.
3. Donny Hathaway, Soul and R&B Singer, Songwriter, Arranger, Keyboardist and record producer. Hathaway contracted with Atlantic Records in 1969 and with his first single for the Atco label, “The Ghetto, Part I” in early 1970. His collaborations with Roberta Flack scored high on the charts and won him the Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for the duet, “Where Is the Love” in 1973.
4. Roberto Kelly, a former Outfielder in Major League Baseball and is currently the first base coach for the San Francisco Giants. He previously managed the Giants single A team, the Augusta Green Jackets. Kelly played for several major league clubs. He was signed by the New York Yankees as an amateur free agent in 1982 and went on to play for the New York Yankees (1987–92 and 2000), Cincinnati Reds (1993–94), Atlanta Braves (1994), Montreal Expos (1995), Los Angeles Dodgers (1995), Minnesota Twins (1996–97), Seattle Mariners (1997) and Texas Rangers (1998–99). He helped the Dodgers win the 1995 NL Western Division, the Mariners win the 1997 American League Western Division, and the Rangers win the 1998 and 1999 AL Western Division.
He was named to the 1992 American League All-Star Team and the 1993 National League All-Star Team.