Famous African Americans

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African Americans were historically one of the most discriminated groups in the USA. However things began to change in the late 19th century with the likes of civil rights activists like John Lewis, Samuel Ringgold Ward, and Harriet Tubman raising their voices demanding equal rights for all. The civil rights movement received further momentum in the 20th century with the emergence of leaders like Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and Harry Burns. By the later part of the 20th century, African Americans had begun to make a name for themselves in varied fields such as science, technology, sports, music and literature. Diplomat Ralph Joseph Bunche created history by becoming the first African American to win the Nobel Prize for Peace. History was created by GuionBluford as well when he became the first African American astronaut to venture into space. More recently, Barack Obama claimed the honor of being the first African American to be elected to the US President’s office. Read on for more information about the life and works of famous African Americans.
Vote for Your Favourite African Americans
 1 
LeBron James
(One of the Greatest Players in NBA History)
LeBron James
225
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: December 30, 1984
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Akron, Ohio, United States
Height: 6'9" (206 cm)
 2 
Prince
(Singer-songwriter & Multi-instrumentalist)
Prince
91
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: June 7, 1958
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Died: April 21, 2016
 3 
Martin Luther King Jr.
(African-American Civil Rights Movement Leader Who Used Civil Disobedience to Combat Racism)
Martin Luther King Jr.
77
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: January 15, 1929
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Died: April 4, 1968
 4 
Alicia Keys
(Singer, Actress)
Alicia Keys
48
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: January 25, 1981
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Hell's Kitchen, New York, United States
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 5 
Mariah Carey
(First Artist to Have Her First Five Singles Reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100)
Mariah Carey
85
Birthdate: March 27, 1969
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Huntington, New York, United States
Height: 5'8" (173 cm)
 6 
James Earl Jones
(One of the Greatest Actors in American History)
James Earl Jones
38
Birthdate: January 17, 1931
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Arkabutla, Mississippi, United States
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)
 7 
Lionel Richie
(Co-Lead Singer Of Funk Band The Commodores)
Lionel Richie
20
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: June 20, 1949
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Tuskegee, Alabama, United States
Height: 5'11" (180 cm)
 8 
Neil deGrasse Tyson
(American Astrophysicist, Planetary Scientist and Science Communicator)
Neil deGrasse Tyson
33
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: October 5, 1958
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York, United States
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)
 9 
DMX
(Rapper)
DMX
20
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: December 18, 1970
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Mount Vernon, New York, United States
Height: 5'11" (180 cm)
 10 
Vince Carter
(American Former Professional Basketball Player Who Played as the Shooting Guard / Small Forward )
Vince Carter
21
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: January 26, 1977
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Daytona Beach, Florida, United States
Height: 6'6" (198 cm)
 11 
Erykah Badu
(Singer-Songwriter Know for Her Singles like "On & On," "Honey," and "The Healer.")
Erykah Badu
20
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: February 26, 1971
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Dallas, Texas, United States
 12 
Megan Thee Stallion
(The Second Female Rapper to Win Best New Artist at the Grammy's)
Megan Thee Stallion
115
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: February 15, 1995
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: San Antonio, Texas, United States
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)
 13 
Zoë Kravitz
(Actress Best Known for Her Role in 'The Divergent' and 'Fantastic Beasts' Film Series)
Zoë Kravitz
63
Birthdate: December 1, 1988
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Venice, Los Angeles, California, United States
Height: 5'2" (157 cm)
 14 
B.B. King
(Singer-songwriter)
B.B. King
6
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: September 16, 1925
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Berclair, Mississippi
Died: May 14, 2015
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)
 15 
Emmett Till
(Victim of Racial Violence)
Emmett Till
27
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: July 25, 1941
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: August 28, 1955
 16 
Ben Carson
(U.S. Secretary of Housing & Urban Development (2017 – 2021))
Ben Carson
56
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: September 18, 1951
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)
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 17 
Common
(Rapper)
Common
23
Listed In: Activists
Birthdate: March 13, 1972
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: South Side, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)
 18 
Tyler Perry
(Creator and Performer of 'Madea' Character & Developer of the Sitcom 'Tyler Perry's House of Payne')
Tyler Perry
36
Birthdate: September 13, 1969
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Height: 6'5" (196 cm)
 19 
Chaka Khan
(Singer)
Chaka Khan
12
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: March 23, 1953
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Naval Station Great Lakes, Illinois
Height: 5'4" (163 cm)
 20 
Tyler, The Creator
(Co-Founder of The Alternative Hip Hop Group 'Odd Future')
Tyler, The Creator
44
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: March 6, 1991
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ladera Heights, California, United States
Height: 6'1" (185 cm)
 21 
Pop Smoke
(American rapper closely associated with Brooklyn drill)
Pop Smoke
31
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: July 20, 1999
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Canarsie, New York, United States
Died: February 19, 2020
 22 
Gladys Knight
(Singer-Songwriter)
Gladys Knight
10
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: May 28, 1944
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Height: 5'3" (160 cm)
 23 
Toni Morrison
(Novelist)
Toni Morrison
29
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: February 18, 1931
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Lorain, Ohio
Died: August 5, 2019
 24 
Rashida Jones
(Actress, Writer & Producer, Best Known for Starring on the Comedy Series 'Parks and Recreation')
Rashida Jones
34
Birthdate: February 25, 1976
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Height: 5'4" (163 cm)
 25 
Ben Simmons
(Australian Professional Basketball Player Who Plays at the Point Guard Position)
Ben Simmons
48
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: July 20, 1996
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Melbourne, Australia
Height: 6'11" (211 cm)
 26 
Shemar Moore
56
Birthdate: April 20, 1970
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Oakland, California, United States
Height: 6'1" (185 cm)
 27 
Thomas Sowell
(Economist)
Thomas Sowell
17
Birthdate: June 30, 1930
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Gastonia, North Carolina
 28 
Jhené Aiko
(Singer-Songwriter Known for Her Songs ‘The Worst’ and ‘Sail Out’)
Jhené Aiko
15
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: March 16, 1988
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Height: 5'2" (157 cm)
 29 
Willow Smith
(Singer, Daughter of Actors 'Will Smith' and 'Jada Pinkett Smith')
Willow Smith
85
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: October 31, 2000
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
 30 
Busta Rhymes
(Rapper)
Busta Rhymes
11
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: May 20, 1972
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: East Flatbush, New York, United States
Height: 6'1" (185 cm)
 31 
Keegan-Michael Key
(Known for Co-Creating & Starring in the Comedy Central Sketch Series 'Key & Peele')
Keegan-Michael Key
15
Birthdate: March 22, 1971
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Southfield, Michigan, United States
Height: 6'1" (185 cm)
 32 
Bill Withers
(American singer-songwriter)
Bill Withers
3
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: July 4, 1938
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Slab Fork, West Virginia, U.S.
Died: March 30, 2020
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)
 33 
Forest Whitaker
(Best Known for His Role in 'The Last King of Scotland')
Forest Whitaker
14
Birthdate: July 15, 1961
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Longview, Texas, United States
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)
 34 
Arthur Ashe
(The Only Black Man to Win the Singles Title at Wimbledon, the US Open, and the Australian Open)
Arthur Ashe
7
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: July 10, 1943
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Richmond, Virginia, United States
Died: February 6, 1993
 35 
Kerry Washington
(Actress and Producer Famous for Her Portrayal of ‘Olivia Pope’ in the Drama Series ‘Scandal’)
Kerry Washington
17
Birthdate: January 31, 1977
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Bronx, New York, United States
Height: 5'4" (163 cm)
 36 
Octavia Spencer
(The First Black Actress to Have Received two Successive Nominations at the Oscars)
Octavia Spencer
28
Birthdate: May 25, 1972
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Montgomery, Alabama, United States
Height: 5'2" (157 cm)
 37 
Tom Morello
(Musician)
Tom Morello
12
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: May 30, 1964
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City, United States
Height: 5'11" (180 cm)
 38 
Redd Foxx
(Comedian)
Redd Foxx
7
Birthdate: December 9, 1922
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Died: October 11, 1991
Height: 5'8" (173 cm)
 39 
DeMarcus Cousins
(Basketball player, Center)
DeMarcus Cousins
8
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: August 13, 1990
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Mobile, United States
Height: 6'10" (208 cm)
 40 
Tyron Woodley
(Mixed martial artist)
Tyron Woodley
34
Birthdate: April 7, 1982
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Ferguson, Missouri, United States
Height: 5'9" (175 cm)
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 41 
Michael Vick
(American football player)
Michael Vick
21
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: June 26, 1980
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Newport News, Virginia, United States
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)
 42 
Donna Summer
(Singer-Songwriter)
Donna Summer
13
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: December 31, 1948
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: May 17, 2012
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
 43 
Isaiah Thomas
(American Basketball Player, Coach and One of the Best Point Guards in the History of the Game)
Isaiah Thomas
33
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: April 30, 1961
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Height: 6'1" (185 cm)
 44 
Ida B. Wells
(Women's Rights Activist and Civil Rights Leader)
Ida B. Wells
9
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: July 16, 1862
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Holly Springs, Mississippi, United States
Died: March 25, 1931
 45 
Berry Gordy
(Record Executive)
Berry Gordy
10
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: November 28, 1929
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Detroit, MichiganDetroit, Michigan, United States
 46 
Johnny Mathis
8
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: September 30, 1935
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Gilmer, Texas, United States
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
 47 
will.i.am
(American Rapper, Singer-Songwriter, Founding and Lead Member of the Musical Group ‘Black Eyed Peas’)
will.i.am
10
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: March 15, 1975
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Eastside Los Angeles, California, United States
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)
 48 
Larry Holmes
(American Former Professional Boxer)
Larry Holmes
7
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: November 3, 1949
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Cuthbert, Georgia, United States
Height: 6'3" (190 cm)
 49 
Carl Lewis
(Track and field athlete)
Carl Lewis
12
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: July 1, 1961
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Birmingham, Alabama, United States
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)
 50 
DeMar DeRozan
(American Basketball Player Who Plays as a Shooting Guard / Small Forward)
DeMar DeRozan
13
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: August 7, 1989
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Compton, California, United States
Height: 6'6" (198 cm)