Thursday, 19 January 2012

List of Famous African-Americans

There are many African-American legends if we explore the history. Their contribution to every field of human endeavor is enormous. Challenge brings out the best out of us and the African-American community has always been challenged at every step, which motivated them to rise above all and prove their true worth. Here is a short list of famous African-Americans. From literature, science, music, politics to showbiz, they have left their mark on every field of human endeavor. The list of famous African-Americans is presented randomly without any particular order of field and without any categorization in terms of living and non-living legends.

George Washington Carver

"If you love it enough, anything will talk with you." - George Washington Carver

Born in 1864 and honored by Time magazine as the 'Black Leonardo' (recognizing his genius to match the caliber of the great polymath Leonard Da Vinci), George Washington Carver paved the way for agriculturists to come. He and his life's work are one of the greatest examples of dedication in human history. With a single urge of learning, he overcame the sufferings and hardships of slave life. He was the second African-American to make it into the hall of fame. George Washington Carver, in the end, achieved his goal as the greatest agriculturists and so much more. Everything that he invented, he invented for the benefit of mankind. A read through his biography is an instant cure for lack of motivation within you, for the man overcame insurmountable odds, to become one of the greatest scientists and human beings of his age.

Michael Jackson

"The greatest education in the world is watching the masters at work." - Michael Jackson

Does anyone need the introduction? Singer, song-writer, born August 29, 1958, in Gary, Indiana, as the seventh of nine children, his contribution to modern pop has been enormous and unforgettable. The self-proclaimed 'King of Pop' rules millions of hearts around the world.

Muhammad Ali

"He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life." - Muhammad Ali

A boxer, born in Louisville, Kentucky, USA, Muhammad Ali is known as one of the greats of his sport. As an amateur boxer (1954-60), winning 100 of 108 matches, he became the 1960 Olympic light-heavyweight champion. He was an almost universal choice as the 20th century's most important sportsman, and at the end of 1999 was voted BBC Sports 'Personality of the Century'.

Tiger Woods

"I love to play golf, and that's my arena. And you can characterize it and describe it however you want, but I have a love and a passion for getting that ball in the hole and beating those guys." - Tiger Woods

A golfer, born Eldrick Woods on December 30, 1975 in Cypress, California, Tiger Woods shot to fame after winning the US Masters at Augusta in 1997 - with a record score of 270 - at the age of 21. Woods was the first African-American to do so, as well as the youngest.

Mike Tyson

"I could feel his muscle tissues collapse under my force. It's ludicrous these mortals even attempt to enter my realm." - Mike Tyson

A boxer, born in New York City, USA. The National Golden Gloves heavyweight champion in 1984, he turned professional the following year. A lethal puncher, he beat 15 of his first 25 opponents by knockouts in the first round. He is a renowned living legend.

Daniel "Chappie" James, Jr.

"Nobody dislikes war more than warriors." - Daniel "Chappie" James, Jr.

Daniel "Chappie" James, Jr. won his wings and commission as a Tuskegee airman in 1943, but didn't see combat in World War II. He did, however, see combat in the Korean War, flying over 100 missions and earning a reputation as an outstanding fighter pilot.

Joe Louis

"Once that bell rings you're on your own. It's just you and the other guy." - Joe Louis

Joe Louis (1914-1981) held the world heavyweight boxing title longer than anyone in history, twelve years to be exact. He would go on to successfully defend the title 25 times, scoring 20 knockouts. He was known as the 'Brown Bomber' because of his quick devastating punches. Joe Louis has arguably been called the greatest fighter in the history of the sport.

Marcus Mosiah Garvey

"Liberate the minds of men and ultimately you will liberate the bodies of men." - Marcus Garvey

Marcus Garvey (1887-1940) is recognized as leader of the first mass movement among America's Blacks. His theme was "Black Pride" when he started his "Back-to-Africa" movement in the U.S. He began his struggle in his native Jamaica in 1916, calling it the 'University Negro Improvement Association'.

Maya Angelou

"People will forget what you said
People will forget what you did
But people will never forget how you made them feel.
" - Maya Angelou

A world famous poet, author, historian, singer and civil rights activist, Maya Angelou, the Grammy and Horatio Alger award winner was raised in segregated rural Arkansas.

Marian Anderson

"When I sing, I don't want them to see that my face is black. I don't want them to see that my face is white. I want them to see my soul. And that is colorless." - Marian Anderson

An African-American operatic and concert singer that was renowned throughout the world for her extraordinary contralto voice. The first African-American to sing at the Metropolitan Opera.

James Booker
Perhaps the greatest piano player in the history of New Orleans. The self-proclaimed Piano Prince of New Orleans.

Willie Lewis Brown, Jr.

"In politics, a lie unanswered becomes truth within 24 hours." - Willie Lewis Brown, Jr.

The mayor of the city and county of San Francisco, California, Willie Lewis Brown, Jr., before his term as mayor, was the longest serving Speaker of the Assembly in California history; furthermore, he is the only African-American to ever hold that post.

Anthony Davis

"I always tried so hard to fit in, and then I figured out that I didn't want to fit." - Anthony Davis

An internationally known African-American composer of operatic, symphonic, choral, and chamber works, Anthony Davis is best known for his opera X, 'The Life and Times of Malcolm X'.

William Edward Du Bois

"A little less complaint and whining, and a little more dogged work and manly striving, would do us more credit than a thousand civil rights bills." - W.E.B. Du Bois

An African-American educator, author, historian, sociologist, philosopher, poet, and leader. Besides being one of the founders of the NAACP, he was the very first African-American to receive a doctoral degree from Harvard University.

Billie Holiday

"If you copy, it means you're working without any real feeling. No two people on earth are alike, and it's got to be that way in music or it isn't music." - Billie Holiday

One of the most famous Jazz singers of all time, Billie Holiday left her indelible mark on pop and jazz singing with her unique renditions. Some of her most famous songs are "Don't Explain", "Fine and Mellow" and "God Bless the Child". 

Quincy Jones

"Imagine what a harmonious world it could be if every single person, both young and old shared a little of what he is good at doing." - Quincy James

African-American music impresario, who won over twenty Grammy awards, an Emmy award and several Oscar nominations.

B.B King

"We all have idols. Play like anyone you care about but try to be yourself while you're doing so." - B.B.King

The guitarist B.B. King has been called the undisputed King of the Blues.

Les McCann
The legendary godfather of contemporary soul-jazz is known for his smooth and funky spontaneity.

Toni Morrison

"I get angry about things, then go on and work." - Toni Morrison

Famous author of such works as "Beloved", "The Bluest Eye", "Song of Solomon", "Tar baby", and many other great works. She was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993.

Sidney Poitier

"I never had an occasion to question color, therefore, I only saw myself as what I was... a human being." - Sidney Poitier

The first Afro-American actor to win the Oscar (Lilies of the Fields, 1963). One of the very best actors of all time.

General Colin Powell

"A dream doesn't become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work." - Colin Powell

Powell is the first African-American to hold the office of United States Secretary of State; furthermore, he is the only African-American to serve as 'Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff', Department of Defense.

Henry Tanner

"I will preach with my brush." - Henry Tanner

Henry Ossawa Tanner was one of the first great African-American artists to achieve recognition in both America and Europe.

Derek Walcott

"If you know what you are going to write when you're writing a poem, it's going to be average." - Derek Walcott

A Nobel Prize winning poet and playwright.

Grace Bumbry

"I've gone from reluctance to acceptance to gung ho." - Grace Bumbry

Famous African-American opera singer who sang in concerts around the world.

Langston Hughes

"An artist must be free to choose what he does, certainly, but he must also never be afraid to do what he might choose." - Langston Hughes

A poet, essayist, novelist, playwright, journalist, & lyricist born in Joplin, Missouri. Sometimes called 'The Poet Laureate of Harlem', he is one of America's greatest writers.

Barack Obama

"But what we can do, as flawed as we are, is still see God in other people, and do our best to help them find their own grace. That's what I strive to do, that's what I pray to do every day." - Barack Obama

Another name, which needs no introduction. Barack Obama is the 44th President of United States of America. His charismatic personality and astute leadership qualities, along with eloquent oratory, brought him to the forefront in the race for US Presidentship, which he ultimately won. 

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