July Achievers of Color

Some achievers of color born on July 1 are:

Jean-Baptiste Belley, born July 1, 1740 or 1746, on Goree Island, in Senegal, (died in 1805) a former slave who purchased his freedom and represented his people in French national convention. Sold at the age of two years to a slave trader bound for Santo Domingo, remaining a slave in his youth, becomes a merchant who bought his freedom with his savings at the age of 17. Belleyalso known as Mars, becomes one of the first Black men to hold elective office in France. In 1793, following the French Revolution, he was elected as the only Black member of a three person coalition sent to France to represent the colony of Saint-Domingue in the National Convention, where he spoke in defense of the Abolition of slavery on February 1794. Slavery was briefly abolished in the French colonies that same year, only to be reinstated after Napoleon’s rise to power five years later. Belley stayed as a member of the Convention, and later the Council of the Five Hundred, until losing his seat in 1797. He then obtained a position in the gendarmerie nationale and returned to Saint-Domingue on official missions. While in France, his portrait (shown above) was painted by Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson, a pupil of Jacques-Louis David. Belley returned to Saint-Domingue with Charles LeClerc in 1802, the year slavery was reinstated in the French colonies, and was arrested on orders of Napoleon Bonaparte. He travelled again to France, this time as a prisoner, where he died in 1805.

Marshall William Taylor, (not the cyclist) born July 1, 1846, in Lexington, Kentucky, (died in 1887) becomes a Methodist Clergyman and editor. Marshall, according to one authority, adopted the name of Taylor, that of his father being Samuel Boyd and that of his mother Nancy Ann (Williams, post, p. 469). The former, his mother, of Scotch-Irish and Indian descent; the latter, of African and Arabian, her mother having been brought from Madagascar when a child. Marshall’s opportunities for education were few. He attended schools for free Negro children in Lexington and at Louisville, to which place the family moved after his father’s death. In the latter city he became a messenger for a law firm. In 1866 he taught school in Breckenridge County, Kentucky, and two years later presided at an educational convention held at Owensboro, Kentucky. A zealous adherent of his Church, he upheld the action of the Methodist authorities in refusing to admit Negroes to the Chattanooga denominational school established for white pupils. In his editorials he urged the colored people to work out their own destiny apart from the whites if necessary and not to strive for educational, social, and religious equality with them. The Negro press took exception to his views, which differed widely from those held by many leaders of his race, so that in his later years he lost in popularity. In his own Church he attained a high reputation. (From: Dictionary of American Biography Base Set. American Council of Learned Societies, 1928-1936)

Robert Allen Cole, born July 1, 1868, in Athens, Georgia, (died August 2, 1911), the son of former slaves, becomes a musician, composer, actor, playwright, stage producer and director. Like Will Marion Cook and James Reese Europe, he became one of the most important composers of his generation, creating a model for other African-American musicians and composers. By 1891 Cole was a member of Jack’s Creoles, a black minstrel company based in Chicago. Within two or three years, however, Cole began to hammer out his own vision of black theater. After publishing his first songs in 1893, Cole formed his own company of performers, The All-Star Stock Company, in 1894. This company included luminaries such as the Farrell Brothers, Billy Johnson, Stella Wiley (by then Cole’s wife), Will Marion Cook, and Gussie Davis. In 1896 Cole joined forces with the Black Patti Troubadours. He and Billy Johnson left the Troubadours, however, and formed a new company which produced the landmark musical, A Trip to Coontown (1898)–the first New York musical written, produced, and performed by black entertainers. This show’s run was successful; it also toured off and on until 1901. After the initial production of Trip, Cole broke with Billy Johnson. He soon began a partnership with J. Rosamond Johnson, and occasionally with Johnson’s brother, James Weldon Johnson–a collaboration that lasted until Cole’s death. In 1900 J. Rosamond Johnson and Cole formed a vaudeville act which was noted for its elegance and broad range of material, including many songs that they had written. Cole and J. Rosamond Johnson continued their musical collaboration. They joined the Klaw and Erlanger production staff and began writing songs for white shows. In 1901 their success was rewarded with an exclusive contract with Jos. W. Stern and Sons for the publication of their music. The song “Under the Bamboo Tree,” from the musical Sally in our Alley (1904), was one of their biggest hits in both black and white musical circles. Some people claim that around 1905 Cole and Johnson were the most popular songwriting team in America. Cole and the Johnson brothers wrote and helped produce two musicals, The Shoe-Fly Regiment (1907) and The Red Moon (1909). Both shows were successful, but lost money, so Cole and Johnson returned to performing in vaudeville. Cole’s health began to fail in 1910 and in April 1911, he collapsed. Shortly thereafter, Cole drowned in what many believe to have been a suicide. James Weldon Johnson later referred to Cole as “the single greatest force in the middle period of the development of black theatricals in America.” Although he is still not well known today, history bears out much of Johnson’s claim. Cole was one of the handfuls of truly pioneering black composers and performers of his time.

Benjamin O. Davis, Sr., born July 1, 1877, in Washington, D.C., (died November 26, 1970), becomes the first African-American General in the modern era. In 1940 Benjamin O. Davis Sr. received promotion as Brigadier General, the first African- American to hold such a command since reconstruction. During his career he received the Distinguished Service Cross, the Bronze Star and the French Croix de Guerre with Palm. The War Department release issued about General Davis’ DSM on February 11, 1945, included the following citation: For exceptionally meritorious service to the Government in a duty of great responsibility from June, 1941, to November, 1944, as an Inspector of troop units in the field, and as special War Department consultant on matters pertaining to Negro troops. The initiative, intelligence and sympathetic understanding displayed by him in conducting countless investigations concerning individual soldiers, troop units, and components of the War Department brought about a fair and equitable solution to many important problems which have since become the basis of far-reaching War Department policy. His wise advice and counsel have made a direct contribution to the maintenance of soldier morale and troop discipline and has been of material assistance to the War Department and to responsible commanders in the field of understanding personnel matters as they pertain to the individual soldier. From: African American Registry, an Internet source and www.wikipedia.com


Ben Taylor, born July 1, 1888, in Anderson, South Carolina (died January 24, 1953), becomes a professional baseball player for the Negro League. Taylor made his name playing for the team his brother C.I. Taylor managed and owned, the Indianapolis ABCs. Initially sponsored by the American Brewing Company, the roster became  littered with Taylor’s, including Ben’s brothers “Candy Jim” and “Steel Arm” Johnny Taylor. Prior to Buck Leonard, Taylor became the best first baseman to play in the Negro Leagues. From: African American Registry, an Internet source


Walter Francis White, born July 1, 1893, in Atlanta, Georgia (died March 22, 1955), becomes an activist and administrator. White attended segregated Black schools, sat in the rear of buses, and experienced many other indignities of racism. At age thirteen, White witnessed a race riot in Atlanta. He managed to attend Atlanta University. After graduating in 1916, White worked for Standard Life Insurance Company. He became secretary of the Atlanta branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). James Weldon Johnson offered him a full-time post at the NAACP. White’s main task became that of investigating lynching and race riots. His light skin enabled him to pass as a white man and this helped him acquire information about racist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan. His research eventually received publication in the book, “Rope and Faggot” (1929). In 1929, White became chief executive of the NAACP. From: African American Registry, an Internet source and www.wikipedia.com


Thomas A. Dorsey, born July 1, 1899, in Villa Rica, Georgia, (died January 23, 1993), becomes a composer who founded the first gospel choir in the world with Theodore Frye at Chicago’s Ebenezer Baptist Church. Dorsey established the first music publishing firm in 1932, dedicated to gospel music. Dorsey’s “If You See My Savior” called public attention to a major change taking place in the music of Black churches. Dorsey wrote more than 2000 blues and gospel songs during his lifetime and is often called the “Father of Gospel.” Dorsey left school after the fourth grade at the age of thirteen. One of the songs he wrote, “Precious Lord Take My Hand,” came about after the loss of his newborn son. (From: 2nd Edition Black Firsts, pages 30/40)


Lucile Bluford, born July 1, 1911, in Salisbury, North Carolina, (died June 13, 2003), in Salisbury, North Carolina, becomes an African-American news publisher and businesswoman, whose name became known outside the city when she sued the University of Missouri for denying her entry to its graduate journalism program. Lincoln University, the Historically Black University, didn’t have a journalism program so MU was ordered to admit her. Unwilling to do so, the university suspended offering graduate journalism courses in order to keep her from attending. Years later, she would receive MU’s esteemed Honor Medal and an honorary doctorate. During her time at the Call, Bluford served as a leader in the Kansas City civil rights movement and made the paper one of national importance to the African-American community through journalism as a whole. The Call, a whole different journalistic approach to the world, became a fresh view to read. When Jesse Jackson ran for president and came to Kansas City to do a campaign speech at the Municipal Auditorium. After Jackson finished speaking, Bluford in the upper balcony began asking for campaign contributions. She stood up saying, “Wait a minute. Wait a minute.” People saw her, and so everybody got quiet. She’s up in the balcony and she leans over and says, “Now Reverend Jackson, how long did you know you were coming to Kansas City before you came?” He said, ‘Well, it was a campaign stop.’ She said, ‘Is there any reason you didn’t contact the Kansas City Call?’ You could hear a pin drop. Jackson said, “Well, no ma’am. I apologize.’ And she said, ‘Well, you ought to apologize.” There were 8,000 people there and she just called him on not supporting Black media. From: African American Registry, an Internet source


Maggie Mae Hathaway, born July 1, 1911, in possibly, Louisiana, (died September 24, 2001), becomes an actress not as well-known as Lena Horne or Dorothy Dandridge, but was quite a lady, who had many talents, and in her every conquest she left a memorable mark. She’s been overlooked by movie historians and history books, but she definitely did her part by contributing her talent and beauty to Hollywood and helping in opening the doors for black actors and actress. Maggie usually portrayed sassy, witty, sexy ladies on screen. In her small parts on screen, she shined, her spunk was undeniable. She played a maid in a Warner Brothers musical short, “Quiet, Please!” where she did a hot jitterbug dance. She was a dancer in The Marx Brothers “At The Circus.” She appeared in “Cabin In The Sky,” during the cabaret scene, she was memorable for her sexy walk into the cabaret. In “Stormy Weather,” she sometimes stood in for Lena Horne. In most of all her film appearances, whether she had a small part or non-speaking part, her presence was always magnetic. Maggie also was a singer who wrote and recorded blues and jazz records in the late 1940’s. Maggie is probably more memorable for being an activist for civil and equal rights. She often fought hard and long for the rights and inclusion of people of color, not only in entertainment, but in the community, and even in sports, specifically golf. She has a golf course named in her honor in Los Angeles, California. She also was the founder of the NAACP Image Awards. She also was a writer for the Los Angeles Sentinel. had a passion for ensuring that blacks in Los Angeles shared the same luxuries in life as whites did. She was one of the city’s most well known community and civil rights activist. Hathaway, who migrated to Los Angeles from Louisiana in the 1940s, was an avid golfer during a time when many blacks were not allowed to play on many golf courses in the Los Angeles area. She did not take that sitting down, so she fought to integrate golf courses, starting with the course that is now known as Chester A. Washington Golf Course on Western Avenue. Hathaway took up the sport of golf in 1955 after winning a bet with boxer Joe Louis. She took to the sport well, but she was unable to play at many courses in Los Angeles, which led to her leading several rallies against the courses. In 1963 Hathaway founded Minority Associated Golfers in 1963, which encouraged minorities to take up the sport, and supported minority golfers who were working towards a professional career. Hathaway was the longtime director and coach at the Jack Thompson Golf Course, which was renamed for Hathaway in 1997. For over 30 years Hathaway wrote a golf column in the Los Angeles Sentinel. The column was one of the first in the nation to highlight the accomplishments of black professional golfers. Hathaway did not limit her crusade to sports, as she was also a talented singer and actress, and she often served as a double for Lena Horne. She appeared in a number of movies, including “Quite, Please!” the Marx Brothers’ “At the Circus” and “Cabin in the Sky.” She often portrayed sassy, witty, sexy ladies on the screen. Like in sports, Hathaway experienced inequalities for blacks in the film industry too. She was the president of the Beverly Hills/Hollywood chapter of the NAACP, and along with Sammy Davis Jr., Hathaway founded the NAACP Image Award show in 1967 to honor black performers who were overlooked by mainstream award shows, such as the Oscars and Grammys. Hathaway’s memory lives on with the Image Awards, and also at the Maggie Hathaway Golf Course, which is on Western just north of Century Blvd. The golf course has become a training center for many novice golfers, and their First Tee youth program and women’s program have made life long golfers out of many African Americans. The First Tee is a program that teaches children how to play golf, and the program has sent a lot of their players to college on scholarships. There are not as many high school students competing for golf scholarships as there are football and basketball players competing for scholarships, so a good player can get his or her education paid for if their grades are good in school and they excel at the sport. Hathaway has touched many lives in the black community because she felt that blacks should get equal opportunities and equal exposure as white people. She was a woman who did not stand for anything less than the best for her people. She was also a writer for the Los Angeles Sentinel.

(From: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0368889 and http://www.lipstickalley.com/showthread.php/558086-Old-Old-Hollywood-Gossip-Part-II/page46 and Who’s Who Among Black Americans – 1994/1995, page 644 )  

Leona P. Thurman, born July 1, 1911, in Russellville, Arkansas (died May 1, 1985), becomes the first Black woman to practice law in Kansas City. Thurman served as a devoted member of the Republican Party. Her career focused primarily on criminal cases in the early years of her practice, but soon shifted to divorce cases. Thurman became active in the community, serving as a member of the YWCA, Women’s Chamber of Commerce, and League of Women Voters. She also served on the board of directors of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Greater Kansas City Chapter of the American Red Cross, Mid-Continent Council of Girl Scouts of America, and the Carver Neighborhood Center. Thurman served as president of the Southwest Bar Association, and chaired the women’s division of the World Peace through Law Center. She received the C. Francis Stradford Award in 1960 from the National Bar Association. . From: African American Registry, an Internet source


Willie Dixon, born July 1, 1915, in Vicksburg, Mississippi (died January 2, 1992), becomes a blues musician who influenced the emergence of electric blues and rock and roll as the behind-the-scenes creator of blues classics, notably “I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man,” which received interpretation by such recording stars as Jimi Hendrix (born November 27, 1942 to September 18, 1970), the Allman Brothers, and Muddy Waters (born McKinley Morganfield, April 4, 1913 to April 30, 1983). In 1936 he moved to Chicago, won the Illinois Golden Glove amateur heavyweight boxing championship, and began selling some of his songs.


Bobby Day, born Robert James Byrd, Sr., July 1, 1928, in Fort Worth, Texas (died July 15, 1990), becomes a rock and roll and R&B singer and musician, (not to be confused with Bobby Byrd, the funk musician from the Famous Flames). At the age of fifteen, as a member of the R&B group, “The Hollywood Flames,” used the stage name Bobby Day to perform and record. He went several years with minor musical success limited to the West Coast, including being the original “Bob” in the duo “Bob and Earl.” In 1957, Day formed his own band called the “Satellites” following which he authored three songs that are seen today as rock and roll classics. Day’s best known songwriting  efforts were “Over and Over,”  made popular by the Dave Clark Five in 1965 and “Little Bitty Pretty One,” popularized by Thurston Harris in 1957, Clyde McPhatter, in 1962 and the Jackson Five, in 1972. However, Day is most remembered for his 1958 solo recording of, “Rockin’ Robin,” the Billboard Hot 100 No. 2 hit. Day is sometimes referred to as a “one hit wonder.”


Nell Jackson, born July 1, 1929, in Athens, Georgia (died in 1988), becomes an Olympic track and field athlete, coach, and educator. Nell Jackson made the 1948 United States Olympic team to London, but did not place in her two events; the two hundred meter and the four-hundred-meter relay. In 1949, however, she set an American record of 24.2 seconds in the two hundred meter, a six year record. She became the National AAU champion in the two hundred meter in 1949, 1950, and 1951. In the first Pan-American games held in 1951 in Buenos Aires, Nell Jackson won a silver medal in the two hundred meter and a gold medal in the four-hundred-meter relay. From: Notable Black American Women, Book 1

 Jean Childs Young, born July 1, 1933, in Marion, Alabama (died in 1994), becomes a civil rights activist, educator,

children’s welfare worker whose work spanned more than three decades, and wife of once mayor of Atlanta, Andrew Young. In 1978 she became widely known as the chairperson of the International Year of the Child. Young never overshadowed by her husband, famed civil rights leader and politician Andrew Young, but worked beside him, helping to further his causes, many of which she supported, while actively defending her own as well. From: Contemporary Black Biography, Volume 14, page 235

 Rashied Ali, born Robert Patterson, July 1, 1935, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, becomes a jazz musician, a drummer best known for playing with John Coltrane in the last years of Coltrane’s life. His brother, Muhammad Ali, also a drummer, played with Albert Ayler, among others. Among his credits is the last recorded work of John Coltrane’s life, the Olatunji Concert. From: Biographical Dictionary of Black Musicians and Music Educators, page 3 and www.wikipedia.com

Wally Amos, born July 1, 1936, in Tallahassee, Florida, becomes an entrepreneur, the founder of Famous Amos Chocolate Chip Cookie Corporation, the very first gourmet cookie business to attract a national following. Almost overnight the effervescent Amos became a minor celebrity, both for the quality of his product and his enthusiasm for its promotion. A Newsweek correspondent called him the “progenitor of the upscale cookie” and “the greatest cookie salesman alive.” After spending several years in New York City, Amos dropped out of high school to join the U.S. Air Force, where he earned his G.E.D. degree. Upon discharge from the service, Amos attended secretarial school, learning shorthand, typing, and accounting skills. Amos worked in the stockroom at Sak’s Fifth Avenue after returning from the military. He worked diligently, eventually becoming manager of the supply department at the ritzy store. The affable Amos recalled in “Parade” magazine, that he had numerous obstacles to overcome on his long road to success. Growing up poor in the segregated South, he faced adult responsibilities at an early age. Still, Amos said, he had confidence that he could make his way in the world. “You have to focus on what you can do,” he said. “There are people who convince themselves that they can’t do anything with their lives because of what’s happened to them–and they’re right. They can’t. But the reason is that they’ve told themselves they can’t. They’ve said ‘I am a victim. Somebody did something to me that paralyzed me for life.’ If you believe that, you’ll never move forward.” (From: Contemporary Black Biography, Volume 9, page 5)

 Andrae Crouch, born July 1, 1942, in Los Angeles, California, (died January 8, 2015) becomes a Gospel singer, who in 2004 received honor with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He became the third gospel musician to appear on the walk. Crouch received his early musical formation in his parents’ church in southern California. His first group, the COGICS (Church of God in Christ Singers/1960), which consisted of Andraé Crouch, Gloria Jones (born October 19, 1945), Frankie Karl Springs aka Frankie Karl/Kahrl (born June 25, 1945 to July 31, 2008), Edna Wright (born in 1944), Blinky Williams (born May 21, 1944), Andraé’s twin sister Sandra Crouch (born July 1, 1942), and Billy Preston (born September 2, 1946/died June 6, 2006), became the first to record “The Blood”. Preston later played organ for the Beatles. From: From: Rock on the Net, an Internet source and www.wikipedia.com  

Frederick L. Lewis, born July 1, 1943 in Huntington, West Virginia, becomes a professional basketball player. He played professionally in the National Basketball Association (NBA) and now defunct American Basketball Association (ABA) from 1966 to 1977. Lewis became a fundamentally sound 6’0″ guard who could pass, shoot, and defend equally well. He played for the Cincinnati Royals from 1966 to 1967; the Indiana Pacers from 1967 to 1974; the Memphis Sounds in 1974; the Spirits of St. Louis from 1974 to 1976 and back to the Indiana Pacers from 1976 to 1977. From: www.wikipedia.com


Shirley Ann Hemphill, born July 1, 1947, in Asheville, North Carolina (died December 10, 1999), becomes a comedian and actress, most notable for her role in the sitcom “What’s Happening,” which aired from 1976 to 1979. In an effort to get noticed, Hemphill borrowed a cassette recorder, recorded some cassettes of her best routines, and sent them to comedian Flip Wilson (an achiever of color born December 8, 1933 to November 25, 1998). Wilson enjoyed her tapes and invited her to a taping of his TV show, “The Flip Wilson Show.” After returning home Hemphill became determined to become a comedy star. She worked during the day as a waitress and did stand up comedy clubs at night. In 1976, Hemphill’s stand-up routine started to get noticed. That same year she landed the role of sarcastic waitress Shirley Wilson on the comedy TV series “What’s Happening Now.”

Harryette Mullen, born July 1, 1953in Florence, Alabama, grew up in Fort Worth, Texas, becomes an educator, Professor of English at University of California, Los Angeles, a poet, short story writer, and literary scholar. Shebegan to write poetry as a college student in a multicultural community of writers, artists, musicians, and dancers in Austin, Texas. As an emerging poet, Mullen received a literature award from the Black Arts Academy, a Dobie-Paisano writer’s fellowship from the Texas Institute of Letters and University of Texas, and an artist residency from the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico. In Texas, she worked in the Artists in Schools program before enrolling in graduate school in California, where she continued her study of American literature and encountered even more diverse communities of writers and artists. Mullen was influenced by the social, political, and cultural movements of African Americans, Mexican Americans, and women in the 1960s-70s, including Civil Rights, Black Power, the Black Arts Movement, Movimiento Chicano, and feminism.

Evelyn “Champayne” King, born July 1, 1960, in Bronx, New York, becomes an R&B singer, that went on to become one of the most popular R&B and disco singers of the late seventies and early eighties. She is best known for her recording classics such as “Shame”, and the groundbreaking use of synthesizers on the songs: “I’m in Love” and “Love Came Down.” King’s vocal discovery came while cleaning a hotel bathroom. Originally nicknamed “Bubbles,” given to her by her mother; at the time of the Disco era, in the late-1970’s, King’s mother, and her manager/producer, T. Life, thought “Bubble” a childish nickname would be silly, particularly for a Soul Singer, so she took on the nickname “Champagne.” Champagne has bubbles. 

Frederick Carl Lewis, born July 1, 1961, in Birmingham, Alabama, becomes an Olympic gold medalist that won 10 Olympic medals that include 9 gold medals, from 1984 to 1996, 8 World Championship gold medals, and 1 bronze, from 1983 to 1993. His accomplishments have led some people to rank him as the greatest athlete of all time. In 1999, Lewis received acknowledgement as the “Sportsman of the Century” by the International Olympic Committee, elected “World Athlete of the Century” by the International Association of Athletics Federation and named “Olympian of the Century” by the American sports magazine “Sports Illustrated.” In 2000 his alma mater University of Houston made Lewis a university namesake, as they named the Carl Lewis International Complex after him. Lewis has appeared in numerous films and television productions. Among them, he played himself in cameos in “Perfect Strangers” and “Speed Zone!” and also seen in “Material Girls.” From: www.wikipedia.com

Jean Adebambo, born July 1, 1962, in Islington, London, England, to a Montserratian mother and a Nigerian father, (died January 15, 2009), became a British black caribbean singer, best known for songs in the lovers rock genre. It is believed she committed suicide. Her entry into the music business was by chance; She was invited to do a cover version of two records entitled “Again” and “Reunited” by Ital Records in the early 1980s, while she was studying to be a nurse. She eventually met the Jamaican producer Leonard Chin, for whom she recorded the single “Paradise”, and had a successful solo career, mainly recording for her own Ade J label. A string of hits followed such as the singles “Reaching For A Goal”, “Hardships of Life” and “Pipe Dreams”. Despite all the success, Adebambo quit the music industry and went back into the medical profession and became a health visitor in Bermondsey.

Andre Braugher, born July 1, 1962, in Chicago, Illinois, becomes an accomplished actor best known for his portrayal of fiery detective Frank Pembleton on “Homicide Life on the Street” from 1993 to 1998, and again in the 2000 made-for-TV movie. Braugher’s first film role came in 1989 in the Civil War epic “Glory” as Thomas Searles, a free, educated black from the North who joins the first black regiment in the Union Army. Braugher won an Emmy Award in 1999. He left “Homicide” after its sixth season but returned for the successful reunion made-for-TV film. He has also starred in the movies, “City of Angels” and “Poseidon.” In 1997, “People” magazine selected Braugher as one of the “50 Most Beautiful People in the World.” At New York City’s Shakespeare in the Park Festival from June 18 to July 14, 1996 at the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park, Braugher played the title role in “Henry V for which he received an Obie Award. In 2000, he played the title role as Ben Gideon in the series “Gideon’s Crossing,” which lasted only one season despite good reviews. In 2006, Braugher starred as Nick Atwater in the mini-series “Thief” for FX Networks, winning a second Emmy for his performance. Braugher portrayed General Hager in the 2007 film “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.” (As of this writing 06/2009) Braugher’s next role will be as Commissioner Bolton in S.M.A.S.H. From: www.wikipedia.com 


Henry Simmons, born one of three children; one his twin, July 1, 1970, in Stamford, Connecticut, becomes an actor. After graduating from college, he briefly worked at a Fortune 500 company in Stamford. Unhappy with his job, Simmons began to study acting and after a few bir toles, he landed a recurring role on the soap opera, “Another World.” Simmons is best known for playing Detective Baldwin Jones on the ABC drama, “NYPD Blue.” He also played Queen Latifah’s  (born Dana Elaine Owens, March 18, 1970) boyfriend in the 2004 action/comedy film “Taxi.” He has appeared in episodes of the new CBS legal drama “Shark” starring James Woods. Partly due to his appearance on ‘Shark,’ Simmons has become a fan-favorite to play the role of Marvel comic book hero Luke Cage aka Power Man,


“Missy Elliott,” born Melissa Arnette Elliott, July 1, 1971, in Portsmouth, Virginia, becomes a rap and R&B singer as well as an occasional actress. With record sales of over seven million in the United States, she is the only female rapper to have six albums certified platinum by the RIAA, including one double platinum album. Elliott is known for a series of hits and diverse music videos including “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly) “, “Hot Boyz”, “Get Ur Freak On”, “One Minute Man”, “Work It”, “Gossip Folks”, “Pass That Dutch”, “Lose Control” and “Ching–a-Ling”. In addition, Elliott has worked extensively as a songwriter and producer for other artists, both alone and with her producer and childhood friend Timbaland (born Timothy Zachary Mosley, March 10, 1971). Elliott’s songwriting and production credits include work for a number of other top female artists. From: Rock on the Net, an Internet source and www.wikipedia.com


“Plies,” born Algernod Lanier Washington, July 1, 1976, in Fort Meyers, Florida, becomes a rapper, who signed to Slip-n-Slide Records. He debuted in 2007 with “The Real Testament” with the chart-topping singles “Shawty” and “Hypnotized”. In 2008, Plies recorded two bestselling albums, “Definition of Real” and “Da REALis.” He plans to have another album on the charts by September 2009. On July 2, 2006, a shooting at a Gainesville, Florida nightclub saw Plies charged with illegal possession of a concealed weapon and members of his entourage charged with attempted murder.

Lovely Ann Warren, born July 1, 1977, in Rochester, New York, becomes a politician, Mayor of Rochester, New York. She previously served as the President of the Rochester City Council. Her swearing in as the 67th mayor of Rochester took place by the bed of her grandfather Cecil McClary on January 1st, 2014 at 12:01 am at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Beginning in 2007 Warren was a councilwoman in Rochester’s City Council and was elected as the fifth President of the Rochester City Council in 2010, making her the youngest president in Rochester’s history. She resigned her council seat and the presidency in November 2013 when she was elected mayor. Warren became the youngest mayor in city history. She is also the city’s first ever female mayor.

Edwina Brown Thomas, born, July 1, 1978, in Dallas, Texas, becomes a professional basketball player for the Phoenix Mercury and an All-American and winner of the 2000 Wade Trophy Award as National Player of the Year. Her mother and grandmother raised her. Brown, often called a natural athlete grew up playing all sports. By the end of her high school years, she became a Class 4-A Player of the Year in the state of Texas and awarded a basketball scholarship to The University of Texas at Austin. From this moment her career took off and she began to achieve the dreams she had from childhood. Brown had 4 successful seasons at The University of Texas, being acknowledged by the Big XII Conference and also by USA Basketball. In her sophomore and junior years she represented her country at the Select International Tournaments in China and Canada. After making the R. Williams Jones Cup team that toured China and won the gold medal in Taipei Taiwan, she developed a hunger to be the best. The next summer she completed the roster that represented the U.S. in the Pan American Games played in Winnipeg Canada. From: www.yahoo.com/sports

Brandee Younger, born July 1, 1983, in Hempstead, New York, becomes an American harpist. Known as a hybrid harpist, she is classically trained and active in jazz and is a jazzy harpist extraordinaire. She is noted for her work with saxophonist Ravi Coltrane and is heavily inspired by the works of Alice Coltrane and Dorothy Ashby. She is on the harp faculty at Adelphi University, The University of Hartford, Hartt School Community Division and the Greenwich House Music School.

Bracey Wright, born July 1, 1984, in Colony, Texas, becomes a professional basketball player for the Minnesota Timber-Wolves from 2005 to 2007, the Florida Flame from 2005 to 2006, the Aris BC from 2007 to 2008, and the Joventut Badalona from 2008 to 2009. Wright became a member of the gold-medal winning USA World Championship for Young Men Qualifying Team at the 2004 FIBA Americas World Championships. From: www.wikipedia.com 

“Young B”, born Bianca Dupree, July 1, 1990, in Harlem, New York, becomes a rapper most notable for appearing alongside rapper DJ Webstar (born October 25, 1986) on his 2006 debut album, “Webstar Presents: Caught in the Web” as well as the signature single from the album, “Chicken Noodle Soup”. Young B also goes by the name of “Ronnique dior” or “BiBi” (From: www.wikipedia.org)

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