Selected Biographical Notes
- Hank Aaron (Henry Louis Aaron) - baseball player, baseball team and TV network executive, automotive dealership owner
- (born Feb 5th, 1934, Mobile, AL) Major League Baseball player for 23 years; winner / holder of many records and awards including 20 consecutive All Star selections, three Golden Glove awards, and 1957 MVP; noted for breaking Babe Ruth's lifetime home run record; inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1982; received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2002
- Ralph Abernathy (Ralph David Abernathy) - civil rights leader, soldier, mathematician, sociologist, pastor
- (born Mar 11th, 1926, Mobile, AL; Died 1990) Pastor of the First Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama; close friend and associate of Dr. Martin Luther King; Arranged the Montgomery bus boycott along with King after the arrest of Rosa Parks; President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)) after King's death.
- Ralph Ellison (Ralph Waldo Ellison) - scholar, author, essayist, sculptor, musician, photographer
- (born Mar 1st, 1913, Oklahoma City, OK; Died 1994) Known for his novel The Invisible Man, Ellison actually started out as a musician, winning a music scholarship at Tuskeegee University; he published numerous essays, short stories, and magazine articles, but his second novel, Juneteenth, was not published until after his death. Ellison lectured at Harvard and Yale, and taught at NYU, the University of Chicago, and Rutgers. and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1975. In 1969 he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
- Claude McKay (Festus Claudius McKay) - poet, columnist, novelist, editor, socialist
- (born September 15, 1889, Clarendon, Jamaica; Died 1948) McKay was a poet an novelist of the Harlem Rennaisance and a writer in support of socialist causes in the US and England. A detailed biography by Nelson Miller is available as part of the Poets' Corner introduction to Harlem Shadows, McKay's Seminal Book of Poems.
- Sarah Vaughan (Sarah Lois Vaughan) - Jazz Vocalist
- (born March 27, 1924, Newark, NJ; Died 1990) In 1942 Sarah Vaughan wowed the audience at the Apollo Theater's amateur night, and went on to spend the next 45 years as a performer and recording artist. Known for her jazz standards, "The Divine One" sang a wide range of music over her varied career. Vaughan won both an Emmy award and a Grammy award and was inducted into the American Jazz Hall of fame in 1988.
- Andrew Young (Andrew Jackson Young, Jr.) - pastor, civil rights leader, US Congressman (GA), US Ambassador to the UN, Mayor of Atlanta, GA
- (born March 12, 1932, New Orleans, LA) A civil rights leader and close associate of Dr. Martin Luther King, Young became executive director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1964, He served for four years in congress before being appointed US Ambassador to the United Nations. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1981. Young was elected Mayor of Atlanta, and served from 1982 to 1990.
- Coleman Young (Coleman Alexander Young) - labor and civil rights activist, Tuskeegee Airman, State Senator, Mayor of Detroit, MI
- (born May 24, 1918, Tuscaloosa, AL; Died 1997) Young served as mayor of one of Amercia's largest cities for twenty years, from 1974 - 1994. Often controvesial as leader of a city with perennial economic, social, and corruption, issues, Young was known for promoting major construction projects and for his colorful language ("Swearing is an art form.")