Lionel Richie is an American singer-songwriter, record producer, and composer whose work with the band Commodores and his solo career established him as a successful balladeer of the 1980s. Having sold more than 90 million records, Lionel Richie is one of the best-selling musicians of all time. Also a philanthropist, Richie helped raise money for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
Widely regarded as one of the greatest track and field athletes of all time, Jesse Owens' three world records in less than an hour in 1935 came to be known as the greatest 45 minutes ever in sports. He was credited with destroying Adolf Hitler's myth of Aryan supremacy when he won four gold medals at the 1936 Summer Olympics.
Former professional baseball and football player Bo Jackson has the distinction of being the only professional athlete in history to be named an All-Star in both the sports. Considered one of the greatest athletes of all time, he pursued his other interests following his retirement from sports in the 1990s. He has acted in a few TV shows, playing minor characters.
Evander Holyfield is an American retired boxer who reigned as the undisputed champion in the late 1980s under cruiserweight division and in the early 1990s under heavyweight division. The only four-time world heavyweight champion, Holyfield remains the only boxer in the history of boxing to reign as an undisputed champion in two weight classes.
Baseball player Hank Aaron, also known as Hammer or Hammerin' Hank, is remembered for his stint with the MLB teams Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves and Milwaukee Brewers. He also competed as part of the Negro League team Indianapolis Clowns. He was named to The Sporting News 100 Greatest Baseball Players.
Octavia Spencer is an American actress, producer, and author. Widely regarded as one of the best actresses of her generation, Spencer has received several prestigious awards, such as a Golden Globe Award, Academy Award, and Screen Actors Guild Awards. Octavia Spencer is the first black actress to have received two successive nominations at the Oscars.
The 66th United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made history in 2005 when she became the first female black Secretary of State. She is also the first female to serve as National Security Advisor, a position which she served from 2001 to 2005. One of the most powerful women in the world at one point of time, she has been depicted in Hollywood films.
American football player Julio Jones has been an important member of the Atlanta Falcons of the NFL since 2011. Renowned for his leaping and catching ability, Jones is considered one of the greatest receivers ever and the best wide receiver of the current generation. He became the fastest to reach 10,000 receiving yards in the history of NFL in 2018.
The American civil rights activist was an ideal foil for her famous husband Martin Luther King Jr. in promoting racial equality. The author and singer led the Women's Movement and fought for the rights of the LGBT community. She was also known for mobilising African-Americans during the 1960 US presidential election. She founded the King Centre, a not-for-profit organization.
Willie Mays is considered one of the all-time greats of baseball. His breathtaking catch of Vic Wertz’s fly ball is etched as a great movement in the history of the sport. Associated with New York / San Francisco Giants for about two decades, the former center fielder with record Major League Football putouts, features in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Former NASA astronaut Mae Jemison became the first Black woman to fly into space, as a mission specialist on the Space Shuttle Endeavour. A qualified physician, she has served as a Peace Corps doctor, too. She has written several books and established a non-profit and a tech research organization.
A dominant sprinter and long jumper, Carl Lewis has won ten Olympic medals, nine of them gold. From 1981 to 1991, he topped the world rankings in the 100 m, 200 m and long jump events, slowly starting to lose his dominance thereafter, eventually retiring in 1997. Currently a businessperson, he has also appeared in films and television productions.
Zora Neale Hurston was an author, anthropologist, and filmmaker. As an African American woman, she often depicted racial issues in the films she made. Her works also reflected her struggles as a black woman. In her early career, she conducted anthropological and ethnographic research and focused more on writing and film-making in her later years.
Legendary baseball pitcher Satchel Paige was part of the MLB and the Negro League Baseball. The National Baseball Hall of Fame inductee began his career playing for the Chattanooga Black Lookouts and later played for teams such as the Cleveland Indians. He was the American League’s first black pitcher.
Claudette Colvin is an American retired nurse aide and pioneer of the civil rights movement during the 1950s. She was arrested at age 15, when she refused to give up her seat in a crowded bus to a white woman. This occurred several months before the more renowned Rosa Parks incident, which helped spark the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955.
Popularly known as one of the Big Six—leaders of six important civil rights organizations who masterminded the Great March on Washington in 1963—John Lewis played an important role in the civil rights movement that eventually ended racial segregation in the US. Also a statesman, Lewis was honored with many awards, such as the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Best known for his Billboard-charting and gold-certified hit When a Man Loves a Woman, Percy Sledge began his music career with The Esquires Combo while working as a nurse. He later scored more hits such as Warm and Tender Love and received the Rhythm and Blues Foundation Pioneer Award.
Percy Lavon Julian was an American chemist whose work paved the way for the production of birth control pills and corticosteroids. Julian went on to start his own company which helped reduce the price of steroid intermediates. In 1973, Percy Lavon Julian was inducted into the National Academy of Sciences and became the first African-American to receive this honor.