Selma Burke was an American sculptor and member of the Harlem Renaissance movement. She was born on December 31, 1900 in Mooresville, NC. After moving to New York City in 1935, she began art classes at Sarah Lawrence. She traveled to Europe on a Rosenwald fellowship to study sculpture in Vienna in 1933-34. Burke is best known for a bas relief portrait of President Franklin D. Roosevelt that inspired the profile found on the obverse of the dime.
Jean-Michel Basquiat was an American artist born in Brooklyn, New York on December 22, 1960. He is of Haitian and Puerto Rican descent. At 21 years old, he became the youngest artist to ever take part in documenta in Kassel. In May 2017, Untitled, his 1982 painting depicting a black skull with red and yellow rivulets, sold for $110.5 million at a Sotheby's auction, making it the hghest price ever paid at an auction for work by an American artist.
Nina Simone was an American singer, songwriter, musician, arranger, and cvil rights activist. She was born Eunice Kathleen Waymon on February 21, 1933 in Tryon, NC. Her musical style fused gospel and pop wth classical, jazz, blues, and folk music. Rolling Stone named her the 29th-greatest singer of all time. Musicians Elton John, Madonna, Alicia Keys, Kanye West, Adele, and many others credit her as mportant for their own musical upbringing. In 2018, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Vonetta Flowers is an American bobsledder from Birmingham, Alabama. At the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, she, along with her driver Jill Bakken, won the gold medal in the two-woman event. With her gold medal win, she became the first African-American woman to win a gold medal in the Winter Olympics.
Wilton Chamberlain was an American basketball and volleyball player born in Philadelphia. He is considered one of the greatest basketball players in history. He was a center for the Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He holds numerous NBA records in scoring and rebounding, and is the only player to score 100 points in a single NBA game.
Mrs. Taylor was the first African-American flight attendant in the United States. She was hired by Mohawk Airlines in December 1957, but it was her flight from Ithaca to New York on February 11, 1958 that made history. It was the first time the position of flight attendant had been held by an African-American.
Mr. Robinson was a tap dancer, actor, and singer born in Richmond, VA. He was the best known and most highly paid Black American entertainer in America during the first half of the 20th century. In 1989, Congress designated his birthday of May 25 as National Tap Dance Day.
Gwendolyn Brooks was an American poet, author, and teacher. On May 1, 1950, she won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for Annie Allen, making her the first African-American to receive a Pulitzer Prize. In 1976, she became the first African-American female inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Henry Louis Aaron is an American retired Major League Baseball right fielder. He is the senior vice president of the Atlanta Braves. In 1957, he was World Series champion with the Milwaukee Braves and the NL Most Valuable Player (MVP). In 1982, he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2002.
Tyra Banks is a model, actress, television personality, and businesswoman. She was the first woman of African-American descent to be featured on the covers of GQ and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Her talk show, The Tyra Banks Show, won two Daytime Emmy awards for Outstanding Talk Show Informative.
Mrs. McDaniel was an American actress, singer-songwriter, and comedian born in Wichita, Kansas. She was the first African-American to win an Oscar, when she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as "Mammy" in Gone with the Wind.
Louis Armstrong, born on August 4, 1901 in New Orleans, Louisiana, was an American trumpeter, composer, vocalist, and actor. He was one of the most influential figures in jazz. And he was skilled at scat singing. The Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences posthumously awarded him the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1972. In 2017, 46 years after his death, he was inducted into the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame.