Fisk University

Discover the notable alumni of Fisk University. The list includes people like W. E. B. Du Bois, Ida B. Wells, Marion Barry, James Weldon Johnson & Nikki Giovanni. This list of notable alumni is loosely sorted by popularity and has people from different domains of life, such as writers, intellectuals & academics, activists, musicians and media personalities etc.
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 1 
W. E. B. Du Bois
(Civil Rights Activists)
W. E. B. Du Bois
39
Birthdate: February 23, 1868
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Great Barrington, Massachusetts, United States
Died: August 27, 1963

W. E. B. Du Bois was an American civil rights activist, sociologist, and Pan-Africanist. Du Bois played an instrumental role in fighting for full civil rights for people of color around the world. A co-founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Du Bois also played an important role as the leader of the Niagara Movement.

 2 
Ida B. Wells
(Women's Rights Activist and Civil Rights Leader)
Ida B. Wells
21
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: July 16, 1862
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Holly Springs, Mississippi, United States
Died: March 25, 1931
Civil rights and women's rights activist Ida B. Wells is remembered for speaking up against the lynching of Blacks in the U.S. She was born a slave and freed by the Emancipation Proclamation. She later co-founded the NAACP. She also co-owned and wrote for Memphis Free Speech and Headlight.
 3 
Johnny Lewis
(Actor)
Johnny Lewis
7
Birthdate: October 29, 1983
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA
Died: September 26, 2012
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)
 4 
Kym Whitley
(Comedian)
Kym Whitley
8
Birthdate: June 7, 1961
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Shaker Heights, Ohio, USA
 5 
W. C. Handy
(Composer)
W. C. Handy
3
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: November 16, 1873
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Florence, Alabama, United States
Died: March 28, 1958
 6 
Nikki Giovanni
(Poet, Writer)
Nikki Giovanni
5
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: June 7, 1943
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Knoxville
 7 
Mathew Knowles
(Businessperson)
Mathew Knowles
7
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: January 9, 1952
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Gadsden, Alabama, United States
 8 
Marion Barry
(2nd and 4th Mayor of the District of Columbia)
Marion Barry
10
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: March 6, 1936
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Itta Bena, Mississippi, U.S.
Died: November 23, 2014
 9 
Mandisa
(Singer)
Mandisa
2
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: October 2, 1976
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Citrus Heights
 10 
Melvin Tolson
(Poet)
Melvin Tolson
2
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: February 6, 1898
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Moberly, Missouri, United States
Died: August 29, 1966
 11 
John Hope Franklin
(Historian, University teacher, Author, Professor, Writer)
John Hope Franklin
1
Birthdate: January 2, 1915
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Oklahoma
Died: March 25, 2009

Historian and academic John Hope Franklin is best remembered for his work on the American Civil War era and Black history. A Harvard alumnus, he initially taught at various universities and first gained attention with his book From Slavery to Freedom. He had also won the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

 12 
Constance Baker Motley
(Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York)
Constance Baker Motley
0
Listed In: Lawyers & Judges
Birthdate: September 14, 1921
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New Haven, Connecticut, United States
Died: September 28, 2005
 13 
Nella Larsen
(American Novelist Who is Considered as the Most Important Novelist of the Harlem Renaissance)
Nella Larsen
2
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: April 13, 1891
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: March 30, 1964

Nella Larsen was an American novelist who also worked as a librarian and nurse. Among her literary work were her novels, Quicksand and Passing; the latter was adapted into a film of the same name in 2021. Larsen's work has gained renewed interest since the 20th century. Today, she is recognized as the most important novelist of the Harlem Renaissance.

 14 
Diane Nash
(Human rights activist)
Diane Nash
2
Listed In: Activists
Birthdate: May 15, 1938
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
 15 
Otis Boykin
(American Inventor and Engineer)
Otis Boykin
1
Birthdate: August 29, 1920
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Dallas, Texas, United States
Died: March 26, 1982
 16 
Judith Jamison
(Dancer)
Judith Jamison
0
Listed In: Dancers
Birthdate: May 10, 1943
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
 17 
Aaron Douglas
(Painter)
Aaron Douglas
1
Birthdate: May 26, 1899
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Topeka, Kansas, United States
Died: February 2, 1979
 18 
Jimmie Lunceford
(Saxophonist)
Jimmie Lunceford
1
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: June 6, 1902
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Fulton, Mississippi, United States
Died: July 12, 1947
 19 
Robert McFerrin
(American Operatic Baritone Who Became the First African-American to Perform at 'Metropolitan Opera')
Robert McFerrin
0
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: March 19, 1921
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Marianna, Arkansas, United States
Died: November 24, 2006

Robert McFerrin was an American operatic baritone. In 1955, he performed at the famous Metropolitan Opera, becoming the first African-American to do so. He was also the first African-American to win the Auditions of the Air contest at the Metropolitan Opera. Robert McFerrin is credited with inspiring a generation of African-American singers. 

 20 
Mary Frances Berry
(Historian)
Mary Frances Berry
1
Birthdate: February 17, 1938
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Nashville, Tennessee, United States
 21 
George Padmore
(Writer, Journalist)
George Padmore
2
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: June 28, 1903
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Arouca, Trinidad and Tobago
Died: September 23, 1959
 22 
Johnnetta Cole
(Anthropologist and educator)
Johnnetta Cole
2
Birthdate: October 19, 1936
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Jacksonville, Florida, United States
 23 
Charles Diggs
(Politician)
Charles Diggs
2
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: December 2, 1922
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States
Died: August 24, 1998
 24 
Terry Adkins
(Artist)
Terry Adkins
0
Birthdate: May 9, 1953
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States
Died: February 8, 2014
 25 
Fatima Massaquoi
(Writer)
Fatima Massaquoi
3
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: December 25, 1912
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Gendema, Pujehun, Sierra Leone
Died: November 26, 1978
 26 
Etta Zuber Falconer
(Educator)
Etta Zuber Falconer
1
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: November 21, 1933
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Tupelo, Mississippi, United States
Died: September 19, 2002
 27 
Ron Walters
(Author)
Ron Walters
1
Listed In: Activists
Birthdate: July 20, 1938
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Wichita, Kansas, United States
Died: September 10, 2010