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
295
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
107
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.
87
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
60
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
101
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
43
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
26
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
40
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: October 5, 1958
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York, United States
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)
 9 
Vince Carter
(American Former Professional Basketball Player Who Played as the Shooting Guard / Small Forward )
Vince Carter
28
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: January 26, 1977
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Daytona Beach, Florida, United States
Height: 6'6" (198 cm)
 10 
DMX
(Rapper)
DMX
27
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: December 18, 1970
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Mount Vernon, New York, United States
Height: 5'11" (180 cm)
 11 
Erykah Badu
(Singer-Songwriter Know for Her Singles like "On & On," "Honey," and "The Healer.")
Erykah Badu
22
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
137
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
80
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
7
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: September 16, 1925
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Berclair, Mississippi
Died: May 14, 2015
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)
 15 
Ben Carson
(U.S. Secretary of Housing & Urban Development (2017 – 2021))
Ben Carson
74
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: September 18, 1951
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)
 16 
Tyler Perry
(Creator and Performer of 'Madea' Character & Developer of the Sitcom 'Tyler Perry's House of Payne')
Tyler Perry
40
Birthdate: September 13, 1969
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Height: 6'5" (196 cm)
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 17 
Pop Smoke
(American rapper closely associated with Brooklyn drill)
Pop Smoke
37
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: July 20, 1999
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Canarsie, New York, United States
Died: February 19, 2020
 18 
Tyler, The Creator
(Co-Founder of The Alternative Hip Hop Group 'Odd Future')
Tyler, The Creator
52
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: March 6, 1991
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ladera Heights, California, United States
Height: 6'1" (185 cm)
 19 
Common
(Rapper)
Common
28
Listed In: Activists
Birthdate: March 13, 1972
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: South Side, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)
 20 
Gladys Knight
(Singer-Songwriter)
Gladys Knight
15
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: May 28, 1944
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Height: 5'3" (160 cm)
 21 
Chaka Khan
(Singer)
Chaka Khan
17
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: March 23, 1953
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Naval Station Great Lakes, Illinois
Height: 5'4" (163 cm)
 22 
Toni Morrison
(Novelist)
Toni Morrison
36
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: February 18, 1931
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Lorain, Ohio
Died: August 5, 2019
 23 
Ben Simmons
(Australian Professional Basketball Player Who Plays at the Point Guard Position)
Ben Simmons
53
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: July 20, 1996
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Melbourne, Australia
Height: 6'11" (211 cm)
 24 
Rashida Jones
(Actress, Writer & Producer, Best Known for Starring on the Comedy Series 'Parks and Recreation')
Rashida Jones
35
Birthdate: February 25, 1976
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Height: 5'4" (163 cm)
 25 
Thomas Sowell
(Economist)
Thomas Sowell
21
Birthdate: June 30, 1930
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Gastonia, North Carolina
 26 
Shemar Moore
65
Birthdate: April 20, 1970
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Oakland, California, United States
Height: 6'1" (185 cm)
 27 
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)
 28 
Keegan-Michael Key
(Known for Co-Creating & Starring in the Comedy Central Sketch Series 'Key & Peele')
Keegan-Michael Key
18
Birthdate: March 22, 1971
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Southfield, Michigan, United States
Height: 6'1" (185 cm)
 29 
Jhené Aiko
(Singer-Songwriter Known for Her Songs ‘The Worst’ and ‘Sail Out’)
Jhené Aiko
18
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: March 16, 1988
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Height: 5'2" (157 cm)
 30 
Willow Smith
(Singer, Daughter of Actors 'Will Smith' and 'Jada Pinkett Smith')
Willow Smith
105
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: October 31, 2000
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
 31 
Bill Withers
(American singer-songwriter)
Bill Withers
4
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)
 32 
Forest Whitaker
(Best Known for His Role in 'The Last King of Scotland')
Forest Whitaker
15
Birthdate: July 15, 1961
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Longview, Texas, United States
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)
 33 
Kerry Washington
(Actress and Producer Famous for Her Portrayal of ‘Olivia Pope’ in the Drama Series ‘Scandal’)
Kerry Washington
20
Birthdate: January 31, 1977
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Bronx, New York, United States
Height: 5'4" (163 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 
Redd Foxx
(Comedian)
Redd Foxx
10
Birthdate: December 9, 1922
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Died: October 11, 1991
Height: 5'8" (173 cm)
 36 
Octavia Spencer
(The First Black Actress to Have Received two Successive Nominations at the Oscars)
Octavia Spencer
33
Birthdate: May 25, 1970
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Montgomery, Alabama, United States
Height: 5'2" (157 cm)
 37 
Johnny Mathis
(American Jazz and Pop Singer Best Known for His Hit 'Chances Are')
Johnny Mathis
9
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: September 30, 1935
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Gilmer, Texas, United States
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
 38 
Berry Gordy
(Record Executive)
Berry Gordy
14
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: November 28, 1929
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Detroit, MichiganDetroit, Michigan, United States
 39 
Roy Jones Jr.
(One of the Greatest Boxers of All Time)
Roy Jones Jr.
23
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: January 16, 1969
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Pensacola, Florida, United States
Height: 5'11" (180 cm)
 40 
Donna Summer
(Singer-Songwriter)
Donna Summer
16
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: December 31, 1948
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: May 17, 2012
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
 41 
DeMarcus Cousins
(Basketball player, Center)
DeMarcus Cousins
12
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: August 13, 1990
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Mobile, United States
Height: 6'10" (208 cm)
 42 
Michael Vick
(Former American Football Quarterback)
Michael Vick
24
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: June 26, 1980
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Newport News, Virginia, United States
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)
 43 
Tyron Woodley
(Mixed martial artist)
Tyron Woodley
35
Birthdate: April 7, 1982
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Ferguson, Missouri, United States
Height: 5'9" (175 cm)
 44 
Eartha Kitt
(Singer with a Distinctive Voice Known for her Hits "Let's Do It", and "C'est si bon")
Eartha Kitt
34
Birthdate: January 17, 1927
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: North, South Carolina, United States
Died: December 25, 2008
Height: 5'4" (163 cm)
 45 
Larry Holmes
(American Former Professional Boxer)
Larry Holmes
8
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: November 3, 1949
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Cuthbert, Georgia, United States
Height: 6'3" (190 cm)
 46 
Ida B. Wells
(Women's Rights Activist and Civil Rights Leader)
Ida B. Wells
11
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: July 16, 1862
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Holly Springs, Mississippi, United States
Died: March 25, 1931
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 47 
Isaiah Thomas
(Professional Basketball Player Who Plays as a Point Guard)
Isaiah Thomas
36
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: February 7, 1989
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Tacoma, Washington, U.S.
Height: 5'9" (175 cm)
 48 
will.i.am
(American Rapper, Singer-Songwriter, Founding and Lead Member of the Musical Group ‘Black Eyed Peas’)
will.i.am
12
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: March 15, 1975
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Eastside Los Angeles, California, United States
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)
 49 
DeMar DeRozan
(American Basketball Player Who Plays as a Shooting Guard / Small Forward)
DeMar DeRozan
16
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: August 7, 1989
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Compton, California, United States
Height: 6'6" (198 cm)
 50 
Leslie Jones
(Comedian)
Leslie Jones
30
Birthdate: September 7, 1967
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee, United States
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)