August Achievers of Color

Patrick Augustus Mervyn Manning, born August 17, 1946, in San Fernando, Trinidad, died July 2, 2016. He became a Trinidadian politician, the fourth and sixth Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago. His terms ran from December 17, 1991 to November 9, 1995 and from December 24, 2001 to May 26, 2010. He was also Political Leader of the People’s National Movement (PNM) from 1987 to 2010. A geologist by training, Manning served as Member of Parliament for the San Fernando East constituency from 1971 until 2015 when he was replaced by Randall Mitchell and was the longest-serving member of the House of Representatives.. He served as the Leader of the Opposition from 1986 to 1990 and again from 1995 to 2001. After graduation from educational institutions, he returned to Trinidad where he worked as a geologist for Texaco. He entered Parliament in 1971 representing the San Fernando East constituency. From: www.wikipedia.orgThe month of August, covers those born under the astrological sign of Leo, governs the later portion of July and the earlier dates of August, from August 1 through August 20. Leo, the sign of the lion, king of the jungle carry themselves as kings and queens of their world. That world could be positive or negative. Whichever you choose, you will be at the top. With Leo born individuals of color, you notice a regal quality at first glance. In her music renditions of “Queen of the Night,” and “Run to You,” in the movie “The Bodyguard,” you immediately envisioned Whitney Houston (born August 9, 1963 – died February 11, 2012), a queen. The later dates of August, from August 21 through August 31 are governed by the astrological sign of Virgo. The iconic Michael Jackson’s birth took place August 29, 1958 (died June 25, 2009.) Isaac Hayes (born August 20, 1942 – died August 10, 2008), even dark glasses and baldhead, did not diminish his regal-ness. He had the looks 1of a king. Emperor Haile Salassie (born July 23, 1892 – died August 27, 1975), ruler of Ethiopia for almost 50 years, lived in one of the most lavish courts in the history of the world; a king. The astrological sign of Leo the Lion also governs the later dates of July; from July 21 to July 31.

Marcus Garvey (born August 17, 1887 – died June 10, 1940), one of the great leaders of the African movement in the early 1920s, rode down the streets of Harlem clad in golden jewelry, riding a golden-jeweled studded horse and buggy carriage; a king. Imagine a sight like that on the streets of Harlem, New York today.

Barack Housein Obama Jr(born August 4, 1961), who becomes the 44th President of the United States, who while as a young boy, his mother and grand parents instilled and encouraged in him to learn the history of his people. He did, and nothing stopped him. He knew he would be king. His ancestry told him nothing but that he could and would be great if he applied himself. And he did; now the President of the United States. Other achievers of color born in August include, National NAACP Civil Rights leader, Vernon Jordan; the first African American woman in the U.S. Senate, Carol Moseley Braun; and Joycelyn Elders, former Surgeon General of the United States. More achievers have been added to the profile list from last years August article.

There may be achievers in this recognition that are not role models for our youth. However through achievements and through mistakes there’s something that can be learned. There are many more people of color who have made significant accomplishments in their own professional and personal lives, which have impacted other people in positive ways. This article recognizes the achievements people of color have made and are still making in their chosen venues. The profiles are arranged by birthdates. In this article we cover those born on August 1st through August 5th. You can obtain the full month of achievers by contacting the author of this article.  Due to space considerations, we cannot list all the achievers of color born in the month of August, but this is a start. If you wish to receive the whole month of any of the Achiever of Color articles contact the writer. Thank You for reading and Enjoy

Rev. Alexander Walters, born August 1, 1858, the sixth of eight children in a room behind the kitchen of the Donohue Hotel, in Bardstown, Kentucky. He died February 2, 1917. Rev. Walters becomes a clergyman and noted civil rights leader. As much as Walter’s interest in serving his church, his zest for the welfare of his race also became evident. He along with Timothy Fortune (another achiever of color), set up a meeting in Chicago, in 1890, which established the Afro-American League. In Rochester, New York, 1898, the organization reorganized as the National Afro-American Council, for which Walters served as its’ president. Walters also switched from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party. (For more information Rev. Alexander Walters, read Dictionary of American Biography Base Set, American Council of Learned Societies, 1928-1936)

Augustus N. Lushington, born August 1, 1869, in Trinidad, (died in 1939). He becomes a veterinarian; the first African American to earn Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M) at the University of Pennsylvania, in 1897. He practiced about two years in Philadelphia and worked as an instructor in Veterinary Sanitation and Hygiene at Bell Mead Industrial and Agricultural College at Rock Castle, West Virginia. Later, he practiced for much of his career life in very segregated Lynchburg, Virginia, where he experienced unfair treatment, but he finally earned a reputation as a superior practitioner in the community. He has memberships in the Statistical reporter to the Bureau of Animal Industry, Federal Department Agriculture, and Lynchburg Chamber of Commerce. (From: Faces of Science, an Internet source)

Charles Clinton Spaulding, born August 1, 1874, in Columbus County, Clarkton, North Carolina, died August 1, 1952, in Durham, North Carolina. He becomes an insurance executive, civic leader, and entrepreneur/businessman, who built the Mutual Life Insurance Company. The company became the nation’s largest Black-owned company at the time of his death. Spaulding believed in self help and racial solidarity. (From: Contemporary Black Biography, Vo. 9, pg. 213; Notable Black American Men, Volume 1, page 1075))

Joe Bartholomew, born August 1, 1881, in New Orleans, Louisiana, died October 12, 1971. He becomes an architect of golf courses, and golf player who at the age of even-year caddied at nearby Audubon Golf Course. Bartholomew copied the swings of the golfers for whom he caddied, taught himself the game’s touch, and quickly became skilled enough to instruct others. He became such a good player, he once shot 62 at Audubon that club members backed him in arranged matches. Bartholomew took his talents across town to Metairie Golf Club. A wealthy club member named H. T. Cottam persuaded the club to send Bartholomew to New York to obtain knowledge and experience in golf course architecture. Early in 1922, Bartholomew returned to New Orleans and began construction of Metairie’s new course. So covetous of his design, he often worked through the night to protect the project from those who might steal his ideas. That practice also perturbed some of the Metairie membership. One morning Bartholomew loaded his doubters into wagons and showed them his progress. They were astounded. Over the next decade, Bartholomew built a number of courses in Louisiana, including City Park No. 1, City Park No. 2, and Pontchartrain Park in New Orleans. The public courses, like the city park playgrounds, were segregated. Joe had built them too, but could not play them. (From: African American Registry)

Anita Bush, born August 1, 1883 in Washington, DC, (died February 16, 1974, in New York City), becomes an actress who became founder of the Anita Bush Players, the first major professional black dramatic company in the United States. (From: Notable Black American Women, Book 1)

Benjamin E. Mays, born August 1, 1895, in Greenwood County, Epworth, South Carolina, (died March 28, 1984), becomes an educator, president of Morehouse College and minister, who mentored Martin Luther King, Jr. Mays overcame the obstacle of early 20th Century racial oppression and emerged as one of the leading African American educators in the United States. (From: Notable Black American Men, Volume 1, page 781)

Jackie Ormes,born August 1, 1911, in Monongahela, Pennsylvania, died December 26, 1985, becomes known as the first African American woman cartoonist and created the Torchy Brown comic strip and the Patty-Jo ‘n’ Ginger panel.

Maria Cole, born August 1, 1922, in Boston, Massachusetts, (died July 10, 2012), becomes a singer, producer, philanthropist and writer, married famed singer Nat King Cole and mother of famed singer Natalie Cole. (From: Notable Black American Women, Book 2)

John R. Willis, born August 1, 1938, in Loraine, Ohio, (died November 25, 2007), becomes an educator who served as professor of African History at the University of California, Berkeley. (From: Who’s Who Among African Americans, 16th Edition)

Ron Brown, born August 1, 1941, in Washington, D.C. (died April 3, 1996, in Dubrovnik, Croatia), becomes a politician. In 1989, elected as Chairman of the Democratic National Convention, in 1993, President Bill Clinton appointed him Secretary of Commerce. He died in an airplane crash in 1996. (From: Contemporary Black Biography, Vol. 5, pg. 32; Notable Black American Men, Volume 1, page 131)

Sylvia Trimble Bozeman, born August 1, 1947, in Camp Hill, Alabama, becomes a mathematician, whose research dealt with image processing. In 1988, Bozeman received both the White House Initiative Faculty Award for Excellence in Science and Technology and the Tenneco United Negro College Fund Award for Excellence in Teaching. In 1980, she received the title of “Outstanding Young Woman of America.” In 2008, Bozeman received the AAAS Mentors Award. (From: Notable Women in Science; Black Women in America, Volume 1, page 159)

Lorna Gaye Goodison born August 1, 1947, in Kingston, Jamaica, the eighth of nine children, a poet, one of the foremost Caribbean authors, standing alongside Nobel Prize winner Derek Wolcott and poet Edward Kamau Brathwaite. (From:

Robert Cray, born August 1, 1953, in Columbus, Georgia, becomes an American blues guitarist and singer. A five-time Grammy Award winner, he has led his own band, as well as an acclaimed solo career. (From Contemporary Black Biography, Vol. 30 and Blues Book, pg. 106)

Belinda Lipscomb, born August 1, 1955, in Cincinnati, Ohio, becomes an R&B singer/songwriter with the R&B group known as Midnight Star, a group formed in 1976 at Kentucky State University by Lipscomb, trumpeter Reggie Calloway, guitarist/drummer/vocalist Melvin Gentry, bassist Kenneth Gant, multi-instrumentalist Bill Simmons, keyboard player/vocalist Bo Watson and guitarist/keyboardist Jeff Cooper, as a self-contained group. They would later add non-KSU student trombonist Vincent Calloway (Reginald’s younger brother.

Laura B. Randolph, born August 1, 1957, in Washington, D.C., becomes a writer, journalist, editor and lawyer who made her mark in history through her extensive work for Ebony magazine, and her trio of books co-written with Patti LaBelle (born May 24, 1944). (From: Notable Black American Women, Book III, page 483)

Richard Griffin, born August 1, 1960, in Roosevelt, Long Island, New York, better known by his Stage name Professor Griff, a rapper, spoken word artist and lecturer, becomes a member of the hip hop group Public Enemy and head of the Security of the First World. After returning from the army, he started a security service to work the local party circuit, calling it Unity Force. At the time, Carlton Ridenhour (a.k.a. Chuck D, also born August 1, 1960), part of the Spectrum City DJ-for-hire service led by Hank Shocklee, and Spectrum and Unity Force frequently worked side-by-side at local events. When Public Enemy was formed and signed to Def Jam, Ridenhour invited Griffin to be a sideman. Unity Force was renamed “The Security of the First World”, or S1W for short. The S1W’s were brought along, and became a curious combination of bodyguards/dancers for the band. Their stage routines were a loose combination of martial arts, military drill and “step show” dances lifted from black college fraternities. His role was also that of road manager and Minister of Information, the intellectual public face of the band for interviews et cetera, as Flavor Flav was the “fun” one. He was rarely MC’ing, except between songs. Professor Griff started to emerge on the conspiracy theory scene, typically New World Order conspiracy theory. He is known for linking these allegations to past and present celebrities. (From:

Carlton Ridenhour, better known as “Chuck D,” born August 1, 1960, in Roosevelt, Long Island, New York, becomes a rap musician, author and producer, who helped create politically and socially conscious rap music in the mid-1980s as the leader of the rap group Public Enemy. (From: Contemporary Black Biography, Vo. 9)Henry Duran Tillman, born August 1, 1960, in Los Angeles, California, becomes a 1984 Olympic gold medalist in the heavyweight-boxing category. Tillman twice defeated Mike Tyson, winning both bouts via close decisions (From: Black Olympian Medalists, pg. 115)Artis Ivey, Jr., who sometimes calls himself Carlito Green, better known as “Coolio,” born August 1, 1963, in Los Angeles, California, becomes a rap artist and actor. (From: Contemporary Musicians, Vol. 9)Stacey Orlando Augmon, born August 1, 1968, in Pasadena, California, becomes a professional basketball player for the Atlanta Hawks. (From:

Devon Edger Hughes, born August 1, 1972, in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, becomes a professional wrestler, who worked on the independent circuit. Hughes wrestled for Extreme Championship Wrestling from 1995 to 1999 and for World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment (WWF/E) from 1999 to 2005 as D-Von Dudley. He began performing with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) from 2005 to 2014 as Brother Devon and Devon. Along with his tag team partner Mark LoMonaco, Hughes is one-half of the tag team “Team 3D” (formerly known as The Dudley Boyz). Team 3D is one of the most successful tag teams in the history of professional wrestling, recognized by TNA as 23-time world tag team champions, and were the first tag team inducted into the TNA Hall of Fame.

Mario Bennett, born August 1, 1973, in Denton, Texas, becomes a professional basketball player for the Atlanta Hawks. (From:,)

Tempest Bledsoe, born August 1, 1973, in Chicago, Illinois, becomes a child actress, portraying the role of Vanessa Huxtable, in “The Cosby Show.” She is also a talk show host.

(From: What Happened All Those Years Ago, an Internet source)

Jason Perry, born August 1, 1976, in Passaic, New Jersey, becomes a professional football player for the San Diego Chargers. (From:

Joseph van Vicker, born August 1, 1977, in possibly Ghana, better known as Van Vicker, becomes a Ghanaian actor who received two nominations for Best Actor in a Leading Role and Best Upcoming Actor at the Africa Movie Academy Awards in 2008.

Edgerrin James, born August 1, 1978, in Immokalee, Florida, becomes a professional football player for the Indianapolis Colts. (From:

Oluchi Orlandi (née Onweagba) born August 1, 1980, in Lagos, Nigeria, becomes a Nigerian model and the host of Africa’s Next Top Model.

Cymphonique Miller, born August 1, 1996, in San Francisco, California, known professionally as Cymphonique, becomes an American actress and singer. She is the daughter of Percy Robert Miller, known as Master P, (born April 29, 1967) and the sister of Romeo Miller (aka Lil’ Romeo, born August 19, 1989). She is best known in the acting world for her leading role as Kacey Simon on the Nickelodeon sitcom “How to Rock.”

Sarah M. Douglass, born August 2, 1806, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (died September 8, 1882), becomes an educator and abolitionist who around 1827 established a school for Black children.

Roi Ottley, born August 2, 1908, in New York City, New York (died October 2, 1960), becomes a columnist for the Chicago Tribune, war-correspondent, and author of several best-selling books, Roi Ottley, in the words of Ernest Hemingway, “One of the outstanding Negro writers of America.”  His 1943 book, New World A-Coming won the coveted Peabody Award as well as the Life in America Award.  His other books, “Black Odyssey, “No Green Pastures,” “White Marble Lady,” “The Lonely Warrior,” and “The Negro in New York” all examined issues concerning race. In 1944, Ottley traveled to Europe where he became known as “the first Negro war correspondent to write for a major paper.”  He covered the events of World War II on a day to basis for several major newspapers. (From: Notable Black American Men, Volume 1, page 887)

Edric Connor, born August 2, 1913, in Mayaro, Trinidad, British West Indies, (died October 13, 1968), becomes a pioneering Caribbean singer, folklorist and actor; one of the trailblazers of the calypso genre in the United Kingdom, where he migrated in 1944 and chiefly lived and worked until his death.

Wilmer “Red” Fields, born August 2, 1922, in Manassas, Virginia, (died June 4, 2004, in Manassas, Virginia) becomes a professional baseball player for the Homestead Grays, a Negro League baseball team. He became president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Players Association. Fields received induction posthumously into the Black Hockey and Sports Hall of Fame along with 19 other Black athletes in August 2006 in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia for his playing days with the Brantford Red Sox of the Inter-county Baseball League in 1951.

James Baldwin, born August 2, 1924 in Harlem, New York (died December 1, 1987, in Saint-Paul de-Vence, France) becomes an activist, poet, playwright and notable writer. He wrote, “Go Tell It the Mountain,” and other written works. Baldwin’s influence on other writers has been profound: Toni Morrison edited the Library of America two volume editions of Baldwin’s fiction and essays, and a recent collection of critical essays links these two writers. In 1987, Kevin Brown, a photo-journalist from Baltimore, founded the National James Baldwin Literary Society. The group organizes free public events celebrating Baldwin’s life and legacy. In 1992, Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, established the James Baldwin Scholars program, an urban outreach initiative, in honor of Baldwin, who taught at Hampshire in the early 1980s. (From: Notable Black American Men)

Doris Evans McGinty, born August 2, 1925, in Washington, DC, (died April 5, 2005), becomes a musician, educator and writer, who became the first American woman to earn a doctorate in musicology from Oxford University in England. As a musicologist, Dr. McGinty’s focus was on the contributions of African American musicians, particularly Washington area artists. (From: Notable Black American Women, Book 2)

Earl J. Hooks, born August 2, 1927, in Chicago, Illinois, (Some sources indicate his birth took place in Baltimore, Maryland.), becomes a painter and sculptor. He died January 6, 2005. His most celebrated work, Man of Sorrows, is part of the Paul R. Jones Collection at the University and currently is on view in the inaugural exhibition, A Century of African American Art: The Paul R. Jones Collection, in Mechanical Hall(From: St. James Guide to Black Artists and )

Philippa Schuyler, born August 2, 1931, in New York City, New York (died May 9, 1967, in Da Nang during the Vietnam War, trying to move Catholic school children from the fighting site), becomes a pianist and writer during the Harlem Renaissance. Schuyler’s father, George Schuyler (born February 25, 1895/died August 31, 1977), became a famous author and journalist. Josephine Cogdell, a white Texas artist and journalist bore Philippa into the world. Their union of Schuyler and Cogdell became the most celebrated interracial marriage of the Harlem Renaissance era. Cogdell and Schuyler applied their daughter to the agriculture theory that crossing different genetic strains produced superior off springs known as “hybrid vigor.” While working as a news correspondent, Schuyler died in a helicopter crash during the Vietnam War, trying to rescue Catholic schoolchildren from a war zone in Hue to the shelter of a school in Da Nang. She died at the age of 35. (For more information the life of Schuyler, go to , and Black Women in America, Volume 2, page 1013)

Carl Cecil Cain, born August 2, 1934, in Freeport, Illinois, becomes a 1956 Olympic gold medalist in the basketball competition. (From: Black Olympian Medalists, pg. 18)

Homer Banks, August 2, 1941, in Memphis, Tennessee (died April 3, 2003), becomes an African-American songwriter, singer and record producer, best known for his songs for Stax Records in the 1960s and 1970s. Many of the songs he wrote have become contemporary classics. In 1968, he formed a songwriting trio with Bettye Crutcher and Raymond Jackson, calling themselves “We Three.” Their first song, “Who’s Making Love”,  recorded by Johnnie Taylor became a # 3 pop hit and # 1 R&B hit, Stax’s biggest. Banks also wrote, with Jackson and Carl Hampton, “If Loving You is Wrong, I Don’t Want to be Right,” a song first recorded by The Emotions, which became a hit when recorded by Luther Ingram, and later recorded by Isaac Hayes and Millie Jackson and many other singers, including Barbara Mandrell, Rod Stewart and Cassandra Wilson.

Doris Coley (later Doris Kenner-Jackson), born August 2, 1941, in Goldsboro, North Carolina, died February 4, 2000, becomes an R&B singer, a member and occasional lead singer of The Shirelles. She initially left the group in 1968, but returned in 1975.

Nell Irvin Painter, born August 2, 1942, in Houston, Texas, becomes an historian, writer and educator who retired from Princeton University, and served as president of the Organization of American Historians and also served as president of the Southern Historical Association. (From: Contemporary Black Biography, Vol. 24 and Notable Black American Women, Book ? page 818)

Jewell Jackson McCabe, born August 2, 1945, in Washington, DC, the daughter of the famed disc jockey and radio personality, Hal Jackson, becomes president of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women from 1977 to 1991. In 1993, she became a finalist for the Directorship of the National NAACP, one of the first Black women considered for this important position. (From: Contemporary Black Biography, Vol. 10; Black Women in America, Volume 2, page 762))

Chokwe Lumumba, born Edwin Finley Taliaferro, August 2, 1947, in Detroit, Michigan, died February 25, 2014, becomes an attorney and politician, affiliated with the Republic of New Afrika and serving as its second vice president. He changed his name in 1969 after joining the Republic of New Afrika. He served as a human rights lawyer in Michigan and Mississippi. He served as a human rights lawyer in Michigan and Mississippi. In 2013, after serving on the City Council, he was elected as Mayor of Jackson, Mississippi from July 1, 2013 to February 25, 2014 (the day he died.)

<>Augie Johnson, born August William Johnson, August 2, 1948, in possibly Los Angeles, California, died October 10 or 11, 2014). He became the founder and leader of the group “Side Effect,” formed in Los Angeles, California, May 1972, which in later years becomes known as Augie’s Side Effect. He’d been singing since childhood and had the opportunity to be among the Robert Mitchell Boys Choir who sang on Frank Sinatra’s hit ‘High Hopes” in 1959. He even had the opportunity to sing at Marilyn Monroe’s last public appearance June 1, 1962, at Dodger Stadium Augie became one of the Doodletown Pipers between the 1960’s and 1970’s, who made numerous appearances on network television such as their first appearance being on “The Red Skelton Show” and thereafter, “The Ed Sullivan Show.” As one of the Doodletown Pipers, Augie had the opportunity to work with such luminaries as Count Basie, The Carpenters, Perry Como, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Frank Gorshin, Alan King, Mike Post, Sarah Vaughan, John Wayne, and Rowan and Martin. After a two year stint in the U.S. Army, Augie was demobbed from an entertainment officer. Once Augie returned to Los Angeles and devoted himself to his music. Throughout the years Johnson provided us with some funky tunes, like “S.O.S,” “Always There,” “Going Banana’s,” “Rainbow Vision,” “Take A Chance,” and the latest release off the 2010 CD “About Time.”
Augie and his band members have worked with superstars such as Michael Jackson, Barbara Streisand, Johnny Mathis, The Temptations, Gloria Trevi, Elton John, Bette Midler, Barry Manilow, Lance Bass of *NSYNC, Warren G “Midnight Hour” and a host of others. (From: )

Larry James, born August 2, 1949, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, died December 5, 1987. He becomes a drummer and vocalist who formed Fat Larry’s Band in 1977; members included trumpeter/flutist Art Capehart, saxophonist Doug Jones, trombonist/alto saxophonist Jimmy Lee, guitarists Ted Cohen and Tony Middleton, percussionist and lead singer Darryl Grant, bassist Larry La Bes, and keyboardist Erskine Williams. The band’s biggest hits were “Act Like You Know” (1982) (which later appeared on the soundtrack for Grand Theft Auto: Vice City) and “Zoom”, which reached number two in the UK Singles Chart in October 1982. They had three other hits in the UK: “Center City”, “Boogie Town” and “Looking for Love Tonight”. The group played back up Marvin Gaye’s classic tune entitled “Stubborn Kind of Fellow.” James also played with The Delfonics and Blue Magic and managed the group “Slick.” (From: Soul Music, A-Z, pg. 102)

Johnny Kemp, born Jonathan Kemp, August 2, 1959, in Nassau, Bahamas, died April 16, 2015, becomes a Bahamian singer, songwriter, and record producer. He began his career as a songwriter in late 1979 and is perhaps best known for his solo work, including his single “Just Got Paid” (1988), which was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best R&B Song in 1989.

Apollonia Kotero, born August 2, 1959, in Santa Monica, California, as Patricia Apollonia Kotero. She becomes an actress, singer, former model and talent manager. She is perhaps best known for co-starring in Prince’s 1984 film Purple Rain and for having been the lead singer in the girl group Apollonia 6.

Derek Smith, born August 2, 1966, raised in Marin City, California, becomes the owner and president of Marinship Construction Company. (From: Face Forward, pg. 19)

Monica Harris, born August 2, 1968, in Washington, DC, becomes an editor and innovative publishing executive who became editorial assistant in the Romance Department, Dell Publishing, from 1990 to 1993; Senior Editor of Arabesque books, Kensington Publishing, from 1993 to 1997 and editor of Carol Publishing, beginning in 1997. Harris learned to read at a very young age, and liked to pursue her interests through independent reading. “I often discovered a topic (in anything from fashion to the Far East) and voraciously read as much as I could–until the next topic came up,” she said in a personal interview. She also showed an early interest in the publishing industry. “I wrote my first full length ‘story’ at seven, illustrations and binding included. I made several copies and distributed them,” she said in a personal interview. (Read more: Contemporary Black Biography, Vol. 18, pg. 69)

Cedric Ceballos, born August 2, 1969, in Maui, Hawaii, becomes a professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets. (From: )

Zelma Davis, born August 2, 1970, in Liberia, becomes a hip-hop artist, who rose to fame, in the early 1990s as a featured vocalist for the dance/hip hop act C+C Music Factory. (From:

Fernando Dewitt Smith, born August 2, 1971, in Flint, Michigan, becomes a professional football player for the Minnesota Vikings. (From: Who’s Who Among African Americans, 16th Edition)

Christopher Lamont Bender, known as Chris Bender, born August 2, 1972, in Brockton, Massachusetts (died November 3, 1991), becomes an R&B singer who reached the national music charts in 1991 with the album entitled Draped. At the age of 16, Bender recorded his first album, titled Baby Doll, for Epic Records. Bender later secured a $500,000 contract with EastWest Records. He signed a seven-album contract, although only one album on that contract released before his death. The album Draped hit No. 92 on the Billboard magazine R&B album chart. His two charted singles, “I Knew” and “That’s Not The Way” broke into the top 70 on the Hot R&B Singles chart. Other songs he’s known for included “Who Will I Choose” and “Kiss and Make Up.” On November 3, 1991, at 2:17 A.M., Bender was shot and killed in Brockton while sitting in his blue Mercedes Benz outside of the Crescent Court housing project where his mother lived.

Muriel Elizabeth Bowser, born August 2, 1972,in Washington, DC, becomes an American politician and member of the Democratic Party who began serving as the eighth Mayor of the District of Columbia, January 2015. Prior to her inauguration in January 2015, Bowser served as a member of the Council of the District of Columbia, representing Ward 4.

Kia Joy Goodwin, born August 2, 1974, in Montclair, New Jersey, becomes an American actress, best known for her childhood role as Tiffany Holloway, Rose Holloway’s played by Alaina Reed Hall, daughter on the NBC comedy sitcom 227 for two seasons (1985-1987).

Natashia Williams-Blach, born August 2, 1978, in Pontiac, Michigan, becomes an American actress and former Wonderbra campaign model, who is perhaps best known for her role as Shane Phillips in the NBC/syndicated series She Spies.

Akua Naru, born Latanya Hinton, August 2, 1978, in New Haven, Connecticut, becomes an American lyricist, poet and performer.

Angell Conwellborn August 2, 1983, in Orangeburg, South Carolina, becomes an actress. While attending Seven Oaks Elementary School in Columbia, she became the school’s first African-American student body president. In 1994, she moved to Los Angeles to film the TV pilot “On Our Own”. She also starred in films such as Soul Plane and Baby Boy and appeared in TV productions and series like What About Your FriendsWeekend Getaway, One on One and Cuts. She also appeared in one episode of “That’s So Raven.” Conwell also appeared in the music video of Nelly and the St. Lunatics “Batter Up,” ” released in September 2001, and “Ride wit Me” ” on April 24, 2001. In December 2010, Conwell began playing the recurring role of attorney Leslie Michaelson on the number-one-rated CBS daytime drama, The Young and the Restless.

Michel Fernandes Bastos, born August 2, 1983, in Pelotas, Brazilbecomes a Brazilian footballer who plays for São Paulo FC mainly as a left winger. Bastos started his career at hometown club Pelotas before moving to the Netherlands, where he played for Feyenoord and Excelsior.

Skylar Kierra Diggins, born August 2, 1990, in South Bend, Indiana, becomes a professional basketball player for the Tulsa Shock of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). She was drafted 3rd overall by the Tulsa Shock in the 2013 WNBA draft. Diggins played point guard for Notre Dame and became their all-time leading scorer with 2,357 points. She was a McDonald’s All-American coming out of high school. She also played for the Dallas Wings of the WNBA. Diggins played point guard for Notre Dame, where she led Notre Dame to three consecutive Final Fours and two consecutive NCAA championship appearances. She finished her Notre Dame career ranked first in points and steals, second in assists, and as a two-time winner of the Nancy Lieberman Award as the top point guard in the nation, while leading her team to a record of 130–20.

Edward Wilmot Blyden, born August 3, 1832, in Saint Thomas, Virgin Islands (died February 7, 1912, in Freetown, Sierra Leone), becomes an educator, writer, diplomat, and politician in Liberia and Sierra Leone. Because Blyden, who became an intellectual force in both Liberia and Sierra Leone, historians have regarded him as both a Sierra Leone Creole and an Americo-Liberian. In 1855 and 1856, Blyden edited the Liberia Herald and wrote “A Voice From Bleeding Africa”. He also spent time in other British colonies in West Africa, particularly Nigeria and Sierra Leone, writing for early newspapers in both colonies. He maintained ties with the American Colonization Society and published in their journal, African Depository and Colonial Journal. In addition to holding many positions of leadership in politics and diplomacy, he taught classics at Liberia College from 1862 to 1871. He also served as its president (1880–1884), leading the college through a period of expansion. From 1901-06, Blyden directed the education of Muslims at an institution in Sierra Leone.


Abbie Mitchell, born August 3, 1884, in New York City, New York (died March 16, 1960, in Harlem, New York), becomes an entertainer, the daughter of an African American mother and German-Jewish father. Her vocal talent came to the attention of achievers of color Paul Laurence Dunbar and Will Marion Cook, who cast her in their musical “Clorindy, the Origin of the Catwalk.” She eventually becomes the wife of Will Marion Cook.

Lawrence Brown, born August 3, 1907, in Lawrence, Kansas (died September 5, 1988),becomes an acclaimed jazz trombonist from California who achieved recognition with the Duke Ellington orchestra. Brown worked throughout his career as a session musician, as well as recording his own solo efforts.

Nelson J. Edwards, born August 3, 1917, in Montgomery, Alabama (died November 3, 1974 at a Halloween party; fatally shot by a reveler who took umbrage when Edwards, as a union official, objected to the man’s boisterous behavior), becomes a labor union official and civic leader who became one of the first African Americans to reach high levels of responsibility within the American labor movement. (From: Notable Black American Men, Volume 1, page 361)

Charles James Shaversborn August 3, 1920, in New York City, New York, died July 8, 1971, known as Charlie Shavers, becomes an American swing era jazz trumpet player who played at one time or another with Dizzy Gillespie, Roy Eldridge, Johnny Dodds, Jimmie Noone, Sidney Bechet, Midge Williams and Billie Holiday. (From: Contemporary Black Biography Volume 131)

Jonas Savimbi, born August 3, 1934, in Munhango, Angola, (died February 22, 2002 in, Moxico Province,Angola),  becomes a noted charismatic Angolan rebel, who founded and led UNITA (National Union for the Total Independence of Angola), a movement that first waged a guerrilla war against Portuguese colonial rule, from 1966 to 1974, then confronted the rival  MPLA (People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola) during the decolonization conflict, 1974/75, and after independence in 1975 fought the ruling MPLA in the Angolan Civil War until his death in a clash with government troops in 2002. (From Contemporary Black Biography, Vol. 34)

Juvenal Habyarimana, born August 3, 1937, in Gasiza, Gisenyi, Rwanda, becomes president of Rwanda from 1977 to April 6, 1994, the date of his death in a plane crash. (From: Contemporary Black Biography, Vol. 8)

Beverly Lee, born August 3, 1941, in Passaic, New Jersey, becomes a soul singer, a member of the all girl vocal pop group known as The Shirelles.

Syreeta Wright, born August 3, 1946, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (some sources indicate place of birth to be Los Angeles, California), (died July 6, 2004), becomes a Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter most notably known for her work with Stevie Wonder and Billy Preston. She started singing at age four. Her father died while serving in the Korean War and Wright and her two sisters, Yvonne (later a songwriter in her own right) and Kim, were raised by their mother Essie and their grandmother. The Wrights moved back and forth from Detroit to South Carolina before finally settling in Detroit just as Wright entered high school. Money problems kept Wright from pursuing a career in ballet so she focused her attention on a music career joining several singing groups before landing a job as a receptionist for Motown in 1965. Wright performed demo vocals for the Supremes hit “Love Child” and Ross’s “Something’s On My Mind”, which Ross later recorded for her self-titled debut album. When Diana Ross left the Supremes in early 1970, Motown boss Berry Gordy considered replacing her with Syreeta, but offered the place in the group to Jean Terrell. According to several sources, Gordy then changed his mind and tried to replace Terrell with Syreeta, but this was vetoed by Supreme Mary Wilson. Wright also sang background on records by the Supremes and by Martha and the Vandellas, notably singing the chorus to the group’s modest hit single, “I Can’t Dance to That Music You’re Playing.” Wright met label mate Stevie Wonder in 1968, and the two began dating the following year. On the advice of Wonder, Wright became a songwriter. Their first collaboration, “It’s a Shame”, was recorded by The Spinners, in 1969. Motown withheld its release until July 1970. The song reached number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100. Wright began singing background for Stevie Wonder, most notably on the hit “Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours)”, which Wright co-wrote with Wonder. In September 1970, after a year-long courtship, Wright, twenty-four, and Wonder, twenty, married in Detroit. The couple then wrote and arranged songs from Wonder’s Where I’m Coming From. The Wonder-Wright composition “If You Really Love Me” (which also featured Wright prominently singing background vocals) reached number-eight in the US that year. Material from Syreeta and Wonder’s “Talking Book,” were deemed autobiographical due to the rise and fall of the ex-couple’s marriage. Remaining best friends, Wright would continue to provide background vocals and compositions with Wonder for the next two decades. Wright’s next effort came courtesy of a chance meeting with Billy Preston, who had signed with Motown in early 1979. Motown assigned the two to collaborate on a pop ballad for the movie Fast Break. Wright and Preston provided the soundtrack of the film and their first collaboration, “With You I’m Born Again”, resulted in an international hit reaching number-four US and number-two UK in late 1979. Syreeta married three times during her life. Her first marriage, to longtime collaborator Stevie Wonder, lasted eighteen months between 1970 and 1972, while a marriage to bassist Curtis Robertson Jr., also short lived. Wright briefly lived in Ethiopia in the mid-1970s where she worked as a transcendental meditation teacher.

Morris “B.B.” Dickerson, born August 3, 1949,in Torrance, California, becomes a former bass player for the 1970s Latin–funk group WAR. Dickerson co-wrote and played on all of War’s seminal hits- “Spill the Wine,” “The Cisco Kid,” “Why Can’t We Be Friends?,” and the iconic “Low Rider”- supporting and interacting with the songs’ vocal narratives with meaty hooks that sit heavy in the mix. Dickerson currently plays in the Low Rider Band with four of the five surviving members of WAR.

Jo Marie Payton, born August 3, 1950, in Albany, Georgia, becomes is an American television actress, and singer, who starred most notably as Harriette Winslow, the matriarch of the Winslow family on the ABC/CBS sitcom, Family Matters, and its parent series Perfect Strangers from 1989 until 1997.

Jon Graham, born August 3, 1951, in Baltimore, Maryland, (formerly of Earth Wind and Fire), becomes a musician. In 1973, he joined the legendary group Earth, Wind and Fire, where he performed for more than ten years, as the group’s lead guitarist. One of Johnny’s most memorable solo can be heard on the infamous smash hit single entitled, “Love’s Holiday”.

Kevin Rodney Sullivan, born August 3, 1958, in San Francisco, California, becomes is an American film and television actor and film director, who began his career as a child actor. During sixth grade while performing A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Sullivan’s talents were picked up by Ann Brebner, who placed him and his entire class as extras in a movie by Sydney Poitier, They Call Me Mr. Tibbs. This became his first experience with cinema. Brebner would continue to give him auditions for various roles. In 1970, he was picked up for a job in an Alphabits Cereal commercial, making over 7,000 dollars off of that role alone. He continued to obtain small roles in theater productions and doing commercials. Most notably, He got a role as the Master of Ceremonies during a show of Sesame Street, being filmed live at Golden Gate Park.

Antwone Quenton Fisher, born August 3, 1959, in Cleveland, Ohio, becomes a director, screenwriter, and author and film producer. His 2001 autobiographical book “Finding Fish” became a New York Times Best Seller. The 2002 film “Antwone Fisher,” written by Fisher, was directed by and starred Denzel Washington.

Arthur L. ‘Art’ Porter, Jr., born August 3, 1961, in Little Rock, Arkansas (died November 23, 1996), becomes a jazz saxophonist, the son of legendary jazz musician Art Porter, Sr., as well as the namesake of “The Art Porter Bill.” In 1996 Porter traveled to Thailand to appear at the Thailand International Jazz Festival. After the festival on 23 November he went boating on the Kratha Taek reservoir in Sai Yok, Thailand. Tragically, the boat Porter was traveling on overturned, and Porter, along with several others, drowned. Porter was survived by his wife and two elementary age sons.

Isaiah Washington, IV, born August 3, 1963, in Houston, Texas, becomes an American-Sierra Leonean actor. A veteran of several Spike Lee films, Washington is best known for his role as Dr. Preston Burke on the ABC medical drama Grey’s Anatomy from 2005 until 2007.

Joan Elizabeth Higginbotham, born August 3, 1964, in Chicago, Illinois, becomes is an American engineer and a NASA astronaut who flew aboard Space Shuttle Discovery mission STS-116 as a mission specialist.

Charles Pugh, born August 3, 1971, in Detroit, Michigan, becomes Detroit’s first openly gay elected official. Charles Pugh is a former American television journalist, radio personality, and politician best known for his career for ten years for being the weekend anchor at WJBK in Detroit. Pugh was elected council president of Detroit City Council in Detroit’s city elections in 2009. He also served as the radio personality on CoCoFoolish and Mr. Chase in the Morning and his own talk show, That’s What’s Up, which originally aired Sunday evenings on WJLB. He had since been serving time in prison. He has been entered in Achievers because of his accomplishment, being the first of his origin to hold this political position.

Deidra Muriel Roper, born August 3, 1971, in the borough of Brooklyn in New York City, grew up in Brooklyn as one of five children. She would later recall that her father’s extensive record collection had given her an early appreciation for music. In high school, Roper, known to friends as “Dee Dee”—dated a boy who was a DJ at local parties and clubs where early hip-hop music was being played. She learned some DJ techniques from her boyfriend and began making her own appearances as a DJ in the local music scene. When she was 16 years old, a classmate approached Roper at school and asked her whether she would be interested in joining a female hip-hop group. The classmate was connected to hip-hop producer Hurby Azor, the manager of the up-and-coming group Salt-N-Pepa. Roper auditioned for Azor and was invited to join Salt-N-Pepa as their DJ. With her parents’ permission, Deidra “Dee Dee” Roper left school and joined Sandra “Pepa” Denton and Cheryl “Salt” James as the newest member of Salt-N-Pepa. Denton and James had recently parted ways with their original DJ, Pamela Latoya Greene. Only a few weeks after Roper joined the duo, taking “Spinderella” as her DJ name, Salt-N-Pepa’s single “Push It” became a hit. Roper was included in the song’s video and began to tour as part of Salt-N-Pepa, backing up the two rappers with instrumental music and sampling on her turntables. For more info go to

Michael Brown, born August 3, 1973, in Washington, DC, becomes is an American actor. He is professionally known as Michael Ealy known for his roles in Barbershop (2002), its sequels.

William Derek Grimm, born August 3, 1974, in Peoria, Illinois, becomes a professional basketball player, who was never drafted by an NBA team, but played for the Sacramento Kings during the 1997-1998 NBA season. He appeared in nine games and scored a total of 14 points.

Trevor Pryce, born August 3, 1975, in Brooklyn, New York, becomes a professional football player for the Denver Broncos. (From: Who’s Who Among African Americans, 16th Edition)

Kris Jenkins, born August 3, 1979, in Ypsilanti, Michigan, becomes a professional football player for the Carolina Panthers. (From: )

Jourdan Sherise Dunn, born August 3, 1990, in London, England, becomes is a British fashion model discovered in Hammersmith Primark in 2006 and signed to Storm Model Management. In February 2008, she became the first black model to walk a Prada runway in over a decade. She has attracted attention because of the paucity (rarity) of black models in the fashion modeling industry. In April 2014, it was announced that Dunn was signed as the new face of Maybelline of New York. As of July 2014, she was declared an icon by In 2014, Forbes listed Dunn in their top-earning models list, estimated to have earned $4 million in one year. Dunn becomes the first black British model to make the list.

Robert Purvis, born August 4, 1810, in Charleston, South Carolina (died April 15, 1898, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), of multiracial ethnicity, becomes an abolitionist born to a free woman of Moorish ancestry and a wealthy abolitionist-oriented cotton broker; a member of the tiny Northern pre Civil War Black elite, light-skinned enough to pass for white. His home outside Philadelphia, served as a stop on the Underground Railroad network which helped runaway slaves escape to Free states and Canada. (From: Notable Black American Men, Volume 1, page 976 and

Alexander Bettis, born August 4, 1836, in Edgefield County, South Carolina (died May 13, 1895), becomes a noteworthy preacher. Bettis, born the property of kind-hearted Widow Jones “Gave abundant evidence of the soundness of his lungs,” and the Widow Jones facetiously remarked “he shall be a Baptist preacher, and shall lead many Negroes to serve the Lord.” How prophetic! Little did she know that his destiny lay in his day and time would be a Gospel power in the land, a moral, religious, educational and civic leader to his people The slaves of Widow Jones were called “Widow Jones free niggers,” for which became young Alexander. (For more info go to )

Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong, born August 4, 1900, in New Orleans, Louisiana (died July 6, 1971, in New York City) (some sources give birth date as July 4, 1901), becomes a legendary pioneering jazz saxophonist, whose musical skills and bright personality transformed jazz from a rough regional dance music into a popular art form. Probably the most famous jazz musician of the 20th century, he first achieved fame as a trumpeter, but toward the end of his career he was best known as a vocalist and was one of the most influential jazz singers. His father, William Armstrong (1881–?), abandoned the family when Louis was an infant. His mother, Mary Albert Armstrong (18861942) then left him and his younger sister Beatrice Armstrong Collins (19031987) under the upbringing of his grandmother Josephine Armstrong. (From:

Ralph J. Bunch, born August 4, 1904, in Detroit, Michigan, (died December 9, 1971, in New York City), becomes a diplomat and activist who received an appointment as UN Mediator in Palestine after the assassination of Count Bernadotte on September 17, 1948, where he became successful in gaining an armistice. (From:

Robert E. Hayden, born August 4, 1913, in Detroit, Michigan (died February 25, 1980, in Ann Arbor, Michigan) becomes a poet, educator and editor, who in 1966, won the Grand Prix de la Poe’ste’ at the First World Festival of Negro Arts in Dakar, Senegal. In 1976, he received appointment to the Library of Congress of the United States, the first African American poet so honored. (From: Notable Black American Men, Volume 1, page 523 and

Robert “Iceberg Slim” Beck, born Robert Lee Maupin, August 4, 1918, in Chicago, Illinois (died April 28, 1992, in Los Angeles, California), becomes a writer who reformed from being a “pimp” to an influential author. In 1969, his first autobiographical novel “Pimp: The Story of My Life,” published by Holloway House, sold very well. Iceberg Slim became an important influence on hip-hop artists and rappers such as Ice-T and Ice Cube and Pittsburgh Slim, who adopted their names in part from reading the author. Iceberg Slim’s last book, “Doom Fox,” written in 1978 but not published until 1998, contains an introduction written by Ice-T. Ice-T’s third album, The Iceberg, was another major homage. Most of the currently popular references to pimp culture, for example in the work of Too Short and Snoop Dogg, ultimately can be traced back to Iceberg Slim. Rapper Jay-Z also refers to himself as “Iceberg Slim” whenever discussing his adventures with women. (From:

Cyprian Bhekuzulu Nyangayezizwe kaSolomon, born August 4, 1924, in Mahlabatini, South Africa, died September 17, 1968, becomes the king of the Zulu nation from 1948 until his death at Nongoma in 1968. He succeeded his father, King Solomon kaDinuzulu, after a lengthy succession dispute which resolved in 1944. His uncle, Arthur Mshiyeni kaDinuzulu, functioned as regent during the succession dispute and Cyprian’s minority. Cyprian was succeeded by his son, the current (as of 2013) king, Goodwill Zwelethini kaBhekuzulu.

Plasse Dennis Bradford Conway, born August 4, 1932, in Shreveport, Louisiana (died November 13, 2006) becomes an American professional wrestler best known by his ring name Tiger Conway; often referred to as Tiger Conway, Sr. because his son later used the same name and became Tiger Conway, Jr. Racial segregation in wrestling forced Tiger Conway, Sr. to compete against only other African Americans for much of his career.

Hugh G. Robinson, born August 4, 1932, in Washington, DC (died in March 2010), becomes a decorated Vietnam veteran, a military general, who served at the Pentagon and at the White House. (From:

Nathan Eugene Brooks, born August 4, 1933, in Cleveland, Ohio, becomes a 1952 Olympic gold medalist in the flyweight boxing division. (From: Black Olympian Medalist, pg. 15)

Sonny Simmons, born August 4, 1933, in Sicily Island, Louisiana, becomes a jazz musician, playing the saxophone, who at age 16 took up the alto saxophone, which became his primary instrument. He is one of the few jazz musicians to play the English horn. (From: All Music Guide, an Internet source)

Paul Mooney, born August 4, 1941, in Shreveport, Louisiana, becomes a comedian and comic writer for comedians and actors Redd Foxx and Richard Pryor, but is probably best known for “Negrodamus,” on the Dave Chappelle Sow.(From:

Hubert Ingraham, born August 4, 1947, in Grand Bahamas, becomes a politician, serving as Prime Minister of the Bahamas beginning 2007.  (From:

“Sapphire,” born Ramona Lofton, August 4, 1950, in Fort Ord, California, becomes a novelist and poet, whose book “Push,” assisted in the dramatization of the 2009 movie “Precious.” (From:

Caldwell “Pops” Jones, born August 4, 1950, in McGehee, Arkansas, becomes a professional basketball player, the most prominent of four brothers who played in the NBA. Jones played two seasons in Houston (joining his brother Major on the Rockets squad), one in Chicago, four in Portland, and one in San Antonio. Primarily he was a reserve, called upon to spell the starting center, grab some rebounds, and play some defense. “I’m like a spare tire on the Cadillac,” he told USA Today in the twilight of his career. “I’m just sitting around in the trunk, waiting to get put on the car if one of the fancy tires blows out. I’m not flashy, but I’m there when they need me.”

Daniel Bautista, born August 4, 1952, in El Salvador, Mexico, becomes a 1976 Olympic gold medalist, setting an Olympic record, in the 20-kilometer walk. (From: Black Olympian Medalists, pg. 7)

“Professor X,” born Lumumba Robert Carson, August 4, 1956, in Brooklyn, New York (died March 17, 2006), becomes a rapper and activist. (From:

Barack Obama, born August 4, 1961, in Honolulu, Hawaii, of multicultural ethnicity, becomes a politician, the first African American President of the United States, serving the U.S. 44th, beginning in 2008. He will go on to serve 2 terms, 8 years. (From:

Michael (Mike) David Holton, born August 4, 1961, in Seattle, Washington, becomes a professional basketball player and television studio analyst for the Portland Trail Blazers of the NBA.

Keith Ellison, born August 4, 1963, in Detroit, Michigan, becomes a politician serving as United States Congressman from Minnesota’s 5th District, beginning in 2007. (From:

Clyde Simmons, Jr., born August 4, 1964, in Lanes, South Carolina, becomes a professional football player for the Chicago Bears and the Cincinnati Bengals. (From: Who’s Who Among African Americans, 16th Edition)

Terri Lyne Carrington, born August 4, 1965, in Medford, Massachusetts, becomes a Grammy Award-winning jazz drummer, composer, record producer and entrepreneur. She has played with jazz legends Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz, Clark Terry, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Joe Sample, Al Jarreau, Yellowjackets, and many more. For example, she has toured with each of Hancock’s musical configurations (from electric to acoustic) between 1997 and 2007.

<>Lexie Bigham, born August 4, 1968, in Illinois (died December 17, 1995), becomes an American film and television actor who appeared in numerous independent films and television series. His prominent roles came in the films “Se7en,” “Boyz n the Hood,” and “South Central,” to name a few. He died in a car accident in Los Angeles December 17, 1995, at the age of 27, shortly after filming “High School High,” his final acting appearance.

Joseph William Daniels, born August 4, 1970, in possibly Zion, Illinois, becomes a rock drummer best known as the original drummer for Local H. Contents. In 1990, Daniels and Scott Lucas formed Local H in 1990. Local H, originally a three-piece band, consisted of Daniels on drums, Lucas on vocals and guitar, and Matthew Garcia on bass. In 1993, Garcia left the band. Lucas and Daniels continued the band with Lucas having a high school friend modify his guitar by adding a bass pick-up. Daniels played one of his last shows with Local H by headlining summer fest in Milwaukee in June 1999. Daniels’ last show was at The Metro in Chicago.

Yo Yo, born Yolanda Whitaker, August 4, 1971, in Compton, California, becomes a Grammy-nominated hip-hop artist and actress. Much of her music advocates female empowerment, denouncing the frequent sexism found in hip-hop music. She is the protégé of gangsta rapper Ice Cube. Yo-Yo dubbed her crew the IBWC, which stood for the Intelligent Black Woman’s Coalition.

Tariano Taj Adaryll Jackson II, born August 4, 1973, becomes a singer, songwriter, bass and piano player and an entrepreneur. Taj is the son of Tito Jackson, and a former member of the group 3T. Taj is a co-founder and CEO of multimedia company Kamelian, a photographer and a director. Ever the innovator, He is always working to forge the family legacy forward through film, television and musical projects that include the younger generation of Jacksons. He enjoys movies, iced mocha lattes and baseball. His place of birth did not appear in the reference source.

Canute Curtis, born August 4, 1974, in Amityville, New York, becomes a professional football player for the Cincinnati Bengals.

Marques Barrett Houston, born August 4, 1981, in Los Angeles, California of multicultural ethnicity, becomes an R&B singer, songwriter, rapper and actor known as Batman, a member of the R&B singing group Immature/IMx from 1992 until 2001. He went solo in 2003. As an actor, he is best known for his role as Roger Evans in the television comedy Sister, Sister. (From:

Mardy Collins, born August 4, 1984, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania becomes a professional basketball player ho played for Turów Zgorzelec of the Polish League.

Tiffany Evans, born August 4, 1992, in Bronx, New York, becomes an R&B singer and an occasional actress who played in the 2005 Tyler Perry movie “Diary of a Mad Black Woman.” (From:

Miriam Matthews, born August 5, 1905, in Pensacola, Florida, (died June 23, 2003, in Mercer Island, Washington) becomes a librarian and historian who becomes the first Black professional librarian in the Los Angeles Public Library system. In 2000, the California Community Foundation named Matthews one of the 100 “Unsung Heroes” of the Los Angeles area. Both the Los Angeles Public Library and the African American Museum and Library in Oakland reflect her lifelong work and achievement. (From: Notable Black American Women, Book III, page 410)

Zakes Makgona Mokae, born August 5, 1934, in Johannesburg, South Africa, died September 11, 2009, became a South African-born American actor. He moved to Great Britain in 1961 and to the United States in 1969. He turned to acting at the same time as playwright Athol Fugard emerged. The two worked together on Fugard’s first international success, “The Blood Knot,” from 1961, a two-hander set in South Africa about brothers with the same mother but different fathers; Zach (played by Mokae) is dark skinned and Morris (played by Fugard) is fair skinned. Later Mokae worked with Fugard on another major international success “Master Harold”… and the Boys, for which Mokae won the 1982 Tony Award for Featured Actor in a Play. The play was filmed for television in 1985 with Mokae and Matthew Broderick. In 1993 Mokae received nomination for a second Tony Award for Featured Actor in a Play for “The Song of Jacob Zulu,” by Tug Yourfrau.

James H. Cone, born August 5, 1938, in Fordyce, Arkansas, becomes a theologian, minister and educator who according to Albert Cleage, Jr., describes James Cone as “undoubtedly a most interesting and meaningful Black theologian. He further portrays Cone, in his book “Black Christian Nationalism,” as “an apostle to the Gentile.” (From: Notable Black American Men, Volume 1, page 223)

Edna Anderson Owens, born August 5, 1938, in Bluefield, West Virginia, died June 13, 2015, became assistant to Motown mogul, Berry Gordy; a position she retained for 45 stellar years. She started at Motown in 1970 in the Publicity and Community Relations department. Her astute business savvy and civic responsibility was such an asset to Mr. Gordy that she became his close confidante and Co-CEO/Co-Chairman of TGC Management, LLC (a Gordy owned, intellectual property company).

Jeannette “Ja’net” Dubois, born August 5, 1945, in Brooklyn, New York, becomes an actress  who is perhaps best known for her portrayal of the wise-cracking, gossip maven Willona Woods on the 1970s sitcom Good Times. Dubois also co-wrote and sang the theme song of the sitcom The Jeffersons, and has appeared in a number of other television programs (usually as a guest star).

Bill Fatback Curtis born August 5th, founding member of The Fatback Band. Formed in New York City in 1970, The Fatback Band was the concept of Bill Curtis, an experienced session drummer, inspired to merge the “fatback” jazz beat of New Orleans into a funk band. The band specialized in playing “street funk”. His year and place of birth were not mentioned in the reference source.

Laverne Chip Fields, born August 5, 1951, in New York City, New York, sometimes credited as Chip Hurd or Chip Fields-Hurd, becomes a singer, actress, television director, consultant, and dialogue coach, who appeared in popular films, television shows, and Broadway theatre. She is best known for portraying the abusive birth mother of Penny Gordon Woods (played by Janet Jackson) in a four-part episode of the 1970s sitcom Good Times. Chip is the mother of actress Kim Fields.

Craig Littlepage, born August 5, 1951, in La Mott, Pennsylvania, becomes a groundbreaking athletic director. (From Contemporary Black Biography, Vol. 35, pg. 103)

Donzaleigh Abernathy, born August 5, 1957, in Montgomery, Alabama, becomes an actress who won the Tanne Foundation 2012 Artist Award for her work as an actress and for her script, “Birmingham Sunday.” She starred for four years in over 60 Episodes as a Series Regular on Lifetime Television’s critically acclaimed dramatic series, “Any Day Now.” She received recognition from film critic Roger Ebert, for her performance in the Warner Bros. film, “Gods And Generals.” She starred as the leading lady in the Emmy and Golden Globe winning HBO Film, “Don King-Only in America,” opposite Ving Rhames. In the HBO Emmy and Golden Globe winning “Miss Evers Boys,” she co-starred with Alfre Woodard and in NBC’s “The Tempest” opposite Golden Globe Award winner, Peter Fonda. She also starred in New Line Cinema’s comedy “Grilled” and Lions Gate’s comedy “Leprechan 6 – Back 2 ‘Da Hood.” She starred in the Directors Guild of America Award Winning, “Murder In Mississippi.”
Audiences also know her from her recurring roles on the TV Series, “EZ Streets,” “Commander-In-Chief,” “Lincoln Heights,” “Dangerous Minds,” and “Amazing Grace.” She has starred in several Television Movies, “Fatal Exposure,” “Abducted – A Father’s Love,” “Ned Blessing” and “Grassroots.”

Patrick Ewing, born August 51962, in Kingston, Jamaica, becomes a professional basketball player for the New Jersey Nets and the Seattle SuperSonics. He also received a 1984 Olympic gold medal in the area of basketball. (From: , and Black Olympian Medalists, pg. 38) 

Otis Thorpe, born August 5, 1962, in Boynton Beach, Florida, becomes a professional basketball player for the Washington Wizards. (From: )

Alan Gerard Ferguson, born August 5, 1963, in Richmond, Virginia, becomes a famous music video director, known for working with such artists as Katy Perry, JJ Tiesto, Nelly Furtado, Beyonce, Natasha Bedingfield and others. What’s more, he is known for being one of the highest paid directors in the industry, which tends to prove the fact that he is a very talented and hardworking person. During his career, he’s won Soul Train Music Award for Video of the Year and BET Award for Video Director of the Year, and he has also been nominated for various other awardsHe married Solange Knowles, sister of Beyonce. (From: )

Antwan DeRay Davis, born August 5, 1968, in Chicago, Illinois, becomes a comedian and actor. The world knows him most as the comedian DeRay Davis, and during his career, he has won several awards, including the Comedy Central Laugh Riot Competition. Adding to his net worth and fame, he has also extended his talents to acting, as he has featured in several movies, such as “21 Jump Street” (2012), “G. I. Joe: Retaliation” (2013) among others. He has been an active member of the entertainment industry since 2002. (From: )

Olympia Scott-Richardson, born August 5, 1976, in Los Angeles, California, becomes a professional basketball player for the Utah Stars, Detroit Shock, Indiana Fever, Charlotte Sting and the Sacramento Monarchs.

Dawn Angeliqué Richard, born August 5, 1983, in New Orleans, Louisiana, known professionally as Dawn Richard, becomes a singer/songwriter who started her career after auditioning for “Making the Band 3” in 2004. She became a member of the girl band “Danity Kane,” from 2005 to 2009, and reformed the group with 2 of the original 4 members in late 2013. In 2009, she joined Diddy-Dirty Money with label head Sean “Diddy” Combs and Kslenna Harper, disbanding in 2011. In 2011, following her departure from Bad Boy Records, she launched her solo career.

Janet Griffin can be contacted via Facebook

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