My People

by IdbaSilas | created - 24 Mar 2012 | updated - 01 Apr 2012 | Public

one the first 10 in order.

1. Malcolm X

Writer | Malcolm X

Malcolm X was born Malcolm Little on May 19, 1925, in Omaha, Nebraska, one of seven children. His father, Earl Little, was a Baptist preacher who supported Marcus Garvey's Back to Africa movement. When Malcolm was four, the family moved to Lansing, Michigan, where Earl tried opening a store while ...

2. Nelson Mandela

Actor | Malcolm X

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (July 18, 1918 - December 5, 2013) was the former leader of the African National Congress (ANC). He was known for his lifelong struggle against apartheid (enforced racial separation), which was instituted in South Africa in 1948. The ANC was soon declared a terrorist ...

3. Martin Luther King

Soundtrack | Freedom Writers

Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia. He was the son of Alberta Christine (Williams), a schoolteacher, and Martin Luther King Sr., a pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. For Martin the civil rights movement began one summer in 1935 when he was six ...

4. Muhammad Ali

Actor | The Greatest

Muhammad Ali beat more champions and top contenders than any heavyweight champion in history. He defeated heavyweight kings Sonny Liston (twice), Floyd Patterson (twice), Ernie Terrell, Jimmy Ellis, Ken Norton (twice), Joe Frazier (twice), George Foreman and Leon Spinks. He defeated ...

5. Barack Obama

Self | Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis

U.S. President Barack Hussein Obama II was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. His mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, was a white American from Wichita, Kansas. His father, Barack Obama Sr., who was black, was from Alego, Kenya. They were both young college students at the University of Hawaii. When his father left...

6. Sidney Poitier

Actor | In the Heat of the Night

A native of Cat Island, The Bahamas (though born in Miami during a mainland visit by his parents), Poitier grew up in poverty as the son of farmers Evelyn (Outten) and Reginald James Poitier, who also drove a cab. He had little formal education and at the age of 15 was sent to Miami to live with ...

7. Denzel Washington

Actor | Fences

Denzel Hayes Washington, Jr. was born on December 28, 1954 in Mount Vernon, New York. He is the middle of three children of a beautician mother, Lennis, from Georgia, and a Pentecostal minister father, Denzel Washington, Sr., from Virginia. After graduating from high school, Denzel enrolled at ...

8. Morgan Freeman

Actor | Se7en

With an authoritative voice and calm demeanor, this ever popular American actor has grown into one of the most respected figures in modern US cinema. Morgan was born on June 1, 1937 in Memphis, Tennessee, to Mayme Edna (Revere), a teacher, and Morgan Porterfield Freeman, a barber. The young Freeman...

9. Samuel L. Jackson

Actor | Pulp Fiction

Samuel L. Jackson is an American producer and highly prolific actor, having appeared in over 100 films, including Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995), Unbreakable (2000), Shaft (2000), Formula 51 (2001), Black Snake Moan (2006), Snakes on a Plane (2006), and the Star Wars prequel trilogy (1999-2005), ...

10. Oprah Winfrey

Producer | The Oprah Winfrey Show

Oprah Winfrey was born Orpah Gail Winfrey in Kosciusko, Mississippi, to Vernita Lee, a former maid, and Vernon Winfrey, a coal miner, barber, and city councilman.

While Winfrey has been cited as the richest African American of the 20th century, she does not come from a rich, or even middle class, ...

11. Tupac Shakur

Soundtrack | Poetic Justice

Born in New York City, Tupac grew up primarily in Harlem. In 1984, his family moved to Baltimore, Maryland where he became good friends with Jada Pinkett Smith. His family moved again in 1988 to Oakland, California. His first breakthrough in music came in 1991 as a member of the group Digital ...

12. Will Smith

Music_department | The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Willard Carroll "Will" Smith, Jr. (born September 25, 1968) is an American actor, comedian, producer, rapper, and songwriter. He has enjoyed success in television, film, and music. In April 2007, Newsweek called him "the most powerful actor in Hollywood". Smith has been nominated for five Golden ...

13. Angela Bassett

Actress | Strange Days

Captivating, gifted, and sensational, Angela Bassett's presence has been felt in theaters, stages, and television screens throughout the world. Angela Evelyn Bassett was born on August 16, 1958 in New York City, to Betty Jane (Gilbert), a social worker, and Daniel Benjamin Bassett, a preacher's son...

14. Ice Cube

Soundtrack | Friday

Ice Cube was born in South Central Los Angeles, to Doris (Benjamin), a custodian and hospital clerk, and Hosea Jackson, a UCLA groundskeeper. He first came to public notice as a singer and songwriter with the controversial and influential band N.W.A. His compositions with that group included many ...

15. Cuba Gooding Jr.

Actor | Jerry Maguire

Cuba Gooding Jr. was born on January 2, 1968, in The Bronx, New York. His mother, Shirley (Sullivan), was a backup singer for The Sweethearts. His father, Cuba Gooding, was the lead vocalist for the R&B group The Main Ingredient, which had a hit with the song "Everybody Plays The Fool". His ...

16. Laurence Fishburne

Actor | The Matrix

One of Hollywood's most talented and versatile performers and the recipient of a truckload of NAACP Image awards, Laurence John Fishburne III was born in Augusta, Georgia on July 30, 1961, to Hattie Bell (Crawford), a teacher, and Laurence John Fishburne, Jr., a juvenile corrections officer.

His ...

17. Jaden Smith

Actor | The Karate Kid

Jaden Smith is a movie actor, known for The Pursuit of Happyness (2006), The Karate Kid (2010) and After Earth (2013). In addition to being an actor he is also a dancer, songwriter and rapper who won an MTV award for his performance in The Pursuit of Happyness. He co-starred with his father Will ...

18. Wesley Snipes

Actor | Blade

Wesley Trent Snipes was born in Orlando, Florida, to Maryann (Long), a teacher's assistant, and Wesley Rudolph Snipes, an aircraft engineer. He grew up on the streets of the South Bronx in New York City, where he very early decided that the theater was to be his career. He attended the High School ...

19. Delroy Lindo

Actor | Get Shorty

On the stage and on the big screen, Delroy Lindo projects a powerful presence that is almost impossible to ignore. Alhough it was not his first film role, his portrayal of the bipolar numbers boss West Indian Archie in Spike Lee's Malcolm X (1992) is what first attracted attention to Lindo's ...

20. Rosario Dawson

Actress | Rent

This stunning and resourceful actress has been primarily a film player thus far. Only recently has she been opening herself up more to doing television (the series Gemini Division (2008), which she executive-produced), and animated voice-overs. Dawson's powerhouse talent stands out the most in edgy...

21. Nia Long

Actress | Big Momma's House

Stunning pop culture icon, Hollywood leading lady and three-time NAACP award winner Nia Long returns to the big screen this fall in the highly anticipated Universal Pictures sequel The best man holiday (in theaters November 15th) where she reunites with original castmates Taye Diggs ("Private ...

22. Zoe Saldana

Actress | Avatar

Zoe Saldana was born on June 19, 1978 in Passaic, New Jersey, to Asalia Nazario and Aridio Saldaña. Her father was Dominican and her mother is Puerto Rican. She was raised in Queens, New York. When she was 10 years old, she and her family moved to the Dominican Republic, where they would live for ...

23. Mike Epps

Actor | Resident Evil: Extinction

Mike Epps was born on November 18, 1970 in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA as Michael Elliot Epps. He is an actor and producer, known for Resident Evil: Extinction (2007), The Hangover (2009) and Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004). He was previously married to Mechelle McCain (I).

24. Gabrielle Union

Actress | Bring It On

Gabrielle Union was born on October 29, 1972, in Omaha, Nebraska, to Theresa (Glass), who managed a phone company, and Sylvester E. Union, a military sergeant and business executive. When she was eight, her family moved to Pleasanton, California, where she grew up and attended high school. In high ...

25. Martin Lawrence

Actor | Martin

Martin Lawrence was born on April 16, 1965 in Frankfurt am Main, Hesse, Germany as Martin Fitzgerald Lawrence. He is an actor and writer, known for Martin (1992), Bad Boys II (2003) and Bad Boys (1995). He has been married to Shamicka Gibbs since July 10, 2010. They have two children. He was ...

26. Chris Rock

Actor | Top Five

Christopher Julius Rock was born in Andrews, South Carolina and raised in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York. He is the son of Rosalie (Tingman), a teacher and social worker for the mentally handicapped, and Julius Rock, a truck driver and newspaper deliveryman, whose own father was a preacher.

...

27. Bernie Mac

Actor | The Bernie Mac Show

Bernard Jeffrey McCollough was born in Chicago in 1957. He grew up in Chicago, in a rougher neighborhood than most others, with a large family living under one roof. This situation provided him with a great insight into his comedy, as his family, and the situations surrounding them would be what ...

28. Terry Crews

Actor | Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2

Terry Crews was born in Flint, Michigan, to Patricia and Terry Crews, Sr. He earned an Art Excellence Scholarship to attend Western Michigan University and also earned a full-ride athletic scholarship to play football. Crews was an All-Conference defensive end, and was a major contributor on the ...

29. Marlon Wayans

Actor | White Chicks

Marlon Wayans was born on July 23, 1972 in New York City, New York, USA as Marlon L. Wayans. He is an actor and writer, known for White Chicks (2004), Littleman (2006) and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009). He is married to Angelica Zackary. They have two children.

30. Damon Wayans

Writer | My Wife and Kids

An outrageous cueball-domed comedian of film and television satire, fortified by a dazzling, sly smile, New York-born Damon Wayans is the third of ten children of Elvira Alethia (Green), a social worker and singer, and Howell Wayans, a supermarket manager. He grew up humbly in the Fulton Housing ...

31. Shawn Wayans

Actor | White Chicks

Shawn Wayans was born on January 19, 1971 in New York City, New York, USA as Shawn M. Wayans. He is an actor and writer, known for White Chicks (2004), Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood (1996) and Littleman (2006).

32. Aaliyah

Soundtrack | Romeo Must Die

Talented. Beautiful. Modest. These three words described R&B singer-turned-actress Aaliyah perfectly.

Aaliyah Dana Haughton was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Diane (Hankerson) and Michael Haughton. Her uncle was music manager Barry Hankerson and her brother is director Rashad Haughton. Aaliyah was ...

33. Anthony Anderson

Actor | The Departed

Anthony Anderson was born on August 15, 1970 in Los Angeles, California, USA. He is an actor and producer, known for The Departed (2006), Kangaroo Jack (2003) and Transformers (2007). He has been married to Alvina Renee Stewart since September 11, 1999. They have two children.

34. Idris Elba

Actor | Beasts of No Nation

An only child, Idrissa Akuna Elba was born and raised in London, England. His father, Winston, is from Sierra Leone and worked at Ford Dagenham; his mother, Eve, is from Ghana and had a clerical duty. Idris attended school in Canning Town, where he first became involved in acting, before he dropped...

35. Michael Kenneth Williams

Actor | The Wire

Michael Kenneth Williams was born in Brooklyn, to an African-American father from South Carolina and a Bahamian mother from Nassau. He was raised in the Vandaveer housing projects in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, New York City, and attended George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School....

36. Don Cheadle

Actor | Crash

Donald Frank Cheadle was born in Kansas City, Missouri on November 29, 1964. His childhood found him moving from city to city with his family: mother Bettye (North), a teacher, father Donald Frank Cheadle, Sr., a clinical psychologist, sister Dawn, and brother Colin. After graduating high school in...

37. Chris Tucker

Actor | Rush Hour 2

At one point in time, Chris Tucker was the highest paid actor in Hollywood.

Tucker was born in Atlanta, Georgia, to Mary Louise (Bryant) and Norris Tucker, who owned a janitorial service. After graduating from high school, Tucker made a change to move to Hollywood from Georgia to pursue a career in ...

38. Meagan Good

Actress | Think Like a Man

Meagan Monique Good was born on 8 August 1981 in Panorama City, California, USA, to Tyra Wardlow-Doyle, who worked as her manager, and Leondis "Leon" Good, an LAPD officer. She began appearing on commercials at the age of four. Then she started guest-starring on series like The Parent 'Hood (1995), ...

39. Columbus Short

Actor | Stomp the Yard

Born in Kansas City, Missouri on September 19, 1982, Columbus Keith Short, Jr., started entertaining at the age of three, by putting on shows for his folks' enjoyment. Whether impersonating relatives, dancing or just making people laugh, everyone sensed something special about the boy. Fortunately,...

40. Snoop Dogg

Actor | Training Day

Snoop Dogg was born in Long Beach, California, to Beverly (Tate) and Vernell Varnado, who was a mail carrier and singer. His parents were both originally from Mississippi. He got his name from his mother, who jokingly remarked that he looked like the Peanuts character Snoopy. Snoop is known ...

41. Tyrese Gibson

Actor | Baby Boy

Tyrese Darnell Gibson was born December 30, 1978 in Watts, Los Angeles, California, where he was raised. He is an R&B singer, songwriter, actor, author, television producer and model. He is well known for his actor role as Roman Pearce in the The Fast and Furious movie franchise. Other popular ...

42. Regina King

Actress | Ray

Regina King was born in Los Angeles, California, to Gloria, a special education teacher, and Thomas King, an electrician. She began her career in the television show 227 (1985), followed by a role in Boyz n the Hood (1991). She began to be recognized by a mainstream audience after her role as Cuba ...

43. Anna Maria Horsford

Actress | Minority Report

Anna Maria Horsford was born and raised in Harlem, New York. Her parents immigrated to the United States from the island nation Antigua & Barbuda, in the West Indies (then a British colony), during the 1940s. Anna grew up not really feeling American but not West Indian either, just somewhere in ...

44. John Witherspoon

Actor | Friday

John Witherspoon was born on January 27, 1942 in Detroit, Michigan, USA as John Weatherspoon. He is known for his work on Friday (1995), Next Friday (2000) and Littleman (2006). He has been married to Angela Robinson Witherspoon since 1988. They have two children.

45. Michael Clarke Duncan

Actor | The Green Mile

Michael Clarke Duncan was born on December 10, 1957 in Chicago, Illinois. Raised by his single mother, Jean, a house cleaner, on Chicago's South Side, Duncan grew up resisting drugs and alcohol, instead concentrating on school. He wanted to play football in high school, but his mother wouldn't let ...

46. LL Cool J

Actor | Deep Blue Sea

L.L. Cool J was born James Todd Smith on January 14, 1968, in Bay Shore, Long Island, New York, the son of Ondrea Griffith and James Louis Smith, Jr. Todd, as he was called, did not have a very happy childhood. At the age of four, he saw his mother and grandfather shot by his own father. After they...

47. Omar Epps

Actor | House M.D.

Omar Epps is an American actor, starring on the ABC drama Resurrection (2014).

Epps was born in Brooklyn, New York, and was raised by his mother, Bonnie Maria Epps, an elementary school principal. No stranger to the big screen, Epps has appeared in lead roles in feature films, including Paramount's ...

48. Mekhi Phifer

Actor | ER

Mekhi Phifer was born in Harlem, Manhattan, and was raised by his mother, Rhoda, a high school teacher. Phifer's acting career began when he auditioned at an open casting call for director Spike Lee's Clockers (1995) and was selected for the leading role. Working alongside Harvey Keitel and Delroy ...

49. Wood Harris

Actor | Remember the Titans

Harris was born Sherwin David Harris in Chicago, Illinois, to John and Mattie Harris. However, he works under his nickname, "Wood". Attended New York University Graduate Acting Program at the Tisch School. Has performed in many films and various stage productions including plays by August Wilson, ...

50. Queen Latifah

Actress | Chicago

Often considered hip-hop's first lady (though some would attribute that to Roxanne Shanté), the woman behind the moniker Queen Latifah was born Dana Elaine Owens on March 18, 1970, in East Orange, New Jersey. She is the daughter of Rita (Bray), a teacher, and Lancelot Owens, Sr. She came from a ...

51. Jada Pinkett Smith

Actress | The Matrix Reloaded

Jada Koren Pinkett Smith was born in Baltimore, Maryland, to Robsol Grant Pinkett, Jr., a contractor, and Adrienne Banfield-Jones, a nurse. They divorced after only a few months of marriage. Her father is of African-American descent and her mother is of Afro-Caribbean ancestry (from Barbados and ...

52. 50 Cent

Soundtrack | Get Rich or Die Tryin'

Born in the South Jamaica section of Queens, Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson has lived in New York City all his life. He was raised by his grandparents after his father ran out and his mother was shot when he was only eight. Growing up, the Queens rapper originally wanted to be a heavyweight boxer, but ...

53. Ving Rhames

Actor | Pulp Fiction

Strikingly featured and muscular American actor Ving Rames was born Irving Rameses Rhames in Harlem, New York, to Reather, a homemaker, and Ernest Rhames, an auto mechanic. A good student, Ving entered the New York High School of Performing Arts, where he discovered his love of acting. He studied ...

54. Forest Whitaker

Actor | The Last King of Scotland

Forest Steven Whitaker has packaged a king-size talent into his hulking 6' 2", 220 lb. frame. He won an Academy Award for his performance as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in the 2006 film The Last King of Scotland (2006), and has also won a Golden Globe and a BAFTA. He is the fourth African-American ...

55. Donald Faison

Actor | Scrubs

Donald Faison was born on June 22, 1974 in New York City, New York, USA as Donald Adeosun Faison. He is an actor, known for Scrubs (2001), Skyline (2010) and Remember the Titans (2000). He has been married to Cacee Cobb since December 15, 2012. They have two children. He was previously married to ...

56. Yasiin Bey

Actor | The Italian Job

Regarded as one of hip-hop's most introspective and insightful artists, Mos Def has shaped a career that transcends music genres and artistic medium. Taking a cue from the Afrocentric stylings of the Native Tongues crew, which included De La Soul, Jungle Brothers, A Tribe Called Quest and Andres ...

57. Method Man

Actor | How High

Method Man was born on April 1, 1971 in Richmond [now Staten Island], New York City, New York, USA as Clifford Smith. He is an actor, known for How High (2001), Garden State (2004) and Method & Red (2004).

58. Redman

Soundtrack | How High

Redman was born on April 17, 1970 in Newark, New Jersey, USA as Reggie Noble.

59. Omarion Grandberry

Actor | You Got Served

Omari Ishmael Grandberry was born on 12th November 1984 in California, Los Angeles. He is the older brother of singer O'Ryan. He and his former band-mates Lil Fizz, Raz-B and J-Boog were discovered by manager and director Christopher B. Stokes.

They formed a band called B2K. B2K stands for Boys of ...

60. J-Boog

Actor | Step Up 2: The Streets

J-Boog was born on August 11, 1985 in Los Angeles, California, USA as Jarell Damonte Houston. He is an actor and producer, known for Step Up 2: The Streets (2008), Til Death Do Us Part (2017) and Always & 4Ever (2018).

61. Spike Lee

Director | Do the Right Thing

Spike Lee was born Shelton Jackson Lee on March 20, 1957, in Atlanta, Georgia. At a very young age, he moved from pre-civil rights Georgia, to Brooklyn, New York. Lee came from artistic, education-grounded background; his father was a jazz musician, and his mother, a schoolteacher. He attended ...

62. Sanaa Lathan

Actress | AVP: Alien vs. Predator

Sanaa Lathan, pronounced Sa-NAA, "like Sinatra without the tra", was born on September 19, 1971, in New York, as her actress mother Eleanor McCoy performed on Broadway with the likes of Eartha Kitt, and her director father Stan Lathan worked behind the scenes in television for PBS. She was exposed ...

63. Regina Hall

Actress | Scary Movie

Regina Hall was born December 12, 1970 in Washington, D.C., to Ruby, a teacher, and Odie Hall, a contractor. She graduated from Fordham University in 1992, and went on to earn a master's degree in journalism from New York University before shifting to an acting career. In 1997 at age 26, she began ...

64. Kevin Hart

Actor | Ride Along

Kevin Hart was born on July 6, 1979 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. He is an actor and producer, known for Ride Along (2014), Central Intelligence (2016) and Grudge Match (2013). He has been married to Eniko Parrish since August 13, 2016. They have one child. He was previously married to Torrei...

65. Tracy Morgan

Actor | 30 Rock

Tracy Morgan was born on November 10, 1968 in The Bronx, New York City, New York, USA as Tracy Jamal Morgan. He is an actor and producer, known for 30 Rock (2006), Cop Out (2010) and The Boxtrolls (2014). He has been married to Megan Wollover since August 23, 2015. They have one child. He was ...

66. Ludacris

Actor | Crash

Ludacris was born Christopher Brian Bridges in Champaign, Illinois, where he was raised, the son of Roberta Shields and Wayne Brian Bridges. At nine years old, he started rapping. He attended Emerson Middle School and, eventually, Oak Park and River Forest High School for his freshman year. ...

67. T.I.

Actor | Ant-Man

T.I. was born Clifford Joseph Harris, Jr. on September 25, 1980, in Atlanta, Georgia, to Violeta Morgan and Clifford "Buddy" Harris, Sr. He is also known as T.I.P. and "Rubberband Man". T.I. is from the streets of Westside Bankhead Zone 1 in Atlanta. His original stage name, T.I.P., it stems from ...

68. Kobe Bryant

Actor | Daddy's Home

Kobe Bryant was born on August 23, 1978 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA as Kobe Bean Bryant. He is an actor and producer, known for Daddy's Home (2015), Dear Basketball (2017) and Moesha (1996). He has been married to Vanessa Laine Bryant since April 18, 2001. They have three children.

69. The Notorious B.I.G.

Soundtrack | Bad Boys

Christopher Wallace, a.k.a. Biggie Smalls, was born in Brooklyn, New York, May 21, 1972. He was the son of Jamaican parents, Voletta Wallace, a pre-school teacher, and George Latore, a welder and small-time politician. He was raised in the poor Brooklyn neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant as the son...

70. Michael Jai White

Actor | Black Dynamite

Michael Jai White is an American actor and martial artist who has appeared in numerous films and television series. He is the first African American to portray a major comic book superhero in a major motion picture, having starred as Al Simmons, the protagonist in the 1997 film Spawn. White ...

71. Vanessa Williams

Actress | Ugly Betty

Vanessa Lynn Williams was born in Millwood, New York, to Helen L. (Tinch) and Milton Augustine Williams, Jr., both music teachers. Vanessa and her brother grew up in suburban New York in comfortable surroundings. Vanessa sang and danced in school productions and signed her high school yearbook with...

72. Katt Williams

Actor | Norbit

Multi-talented actor/comedian Katt Williams was born in Cincinnati and raised in Dayton, Ohio. He currently resides in Los Angeles, California, where he is simultaneously working on several projects on camera and behind the scenes for your viewing pleasure in the near future. Throughout his journey...

73. Eddie Murphy

Actor | The Nutty Professor

Edward Regan Murphy was born April 3, 1961 in Brooklyn, New York, to Lillian (Laney), a telephone operator, and Charles Edward Murphy, a transit police officer who was also an amateur comedian and actor. After his father died, his mother married Vernon Lynch, a foreman at a Breyer's Ice Cream plant...

74. Eddie Griffin

Actor | A Star Is Born

Eddie Griffin was born on July 15, 1968 in Kansas City, Missouri, USA. He is known for his work on A Star Is Born (2018), Def Comedy Jam 25 (2017) and The Comedy Get Down (2017).

75. DMX

Soundtrack | Exit Wounds

DMX was born on December 18, 1970 in Baltimore, Maryland, USA as Earl Simmons. He was previously married to Tashera Simmons.

76. Nas

Soundtrack | Belly

Nas, born Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones on September 14, 1973, is the son of Olu Dara, an unconventional jazz musician. At age nine he was a member of the Devastatin' Seven in the mid-1980s, the fruits of which can be heard on his 1994 debut, "Illmatic," which was released on Columbia/SME later that ...

77. K'Naan

Soundtrack | The Roommate

K'Naan was born on May 30, 1978 in Mogadishu, Somalia.

78. Bill Cosby

Actor | The Cosby Show

Bill Cosby is one of the world's most well-known entertainers and comedians. William Henry Cosby, Jr. was born on July 12, 1937, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Anna Pearl (Hite), a maid, and William Henry Cosby, Sr., a U.S. Navy sailor. After tenth grade, Cosby joined the Navy and completed high...

79. Michael Jackson

Soundtrack | Michael Jackson: Thriller

Michael Joseph Jackson was born in Gary, Indiana on August 29, 1958, and entertained audiences nearly his entire life. His father, Joe Jackson, had been a guitarist, but was forced to give up his musical ambitions following his marriage to Katherine Jackson (née Katherine Esther Scruse). Together, ...

He is black.

80. Richard Pryor

Actor | Superman III

Highly influential, and always controversial, African-American actor/comedian who was equally well known for his colorful language during his live comedy shows, as for his fast paced life, multiple marriages and battles with drug addiction. He has been acknowledged by many modern comic artist's as ...

81. Redd Foxx

Actor | Sanford and Son

Redd Foxx began doing stand-up comedy on the infamous "Chitlin' Circuit" in the 1940s and 1950s. Foxx was one of the premier "blue humor" comedians. Blue humor was very dirty, too dirty for white audiences. For years his party albums were not available in white record stores. In the 1960s his ...

82. Charlie Murphy

Actor | Norbit

Charlie Murphy was born on July 12, 1959 in New York City, New York, USA as Charles Quinton Murphy. He was an actor and writer, known for Norbit (2007), Night at the Museum (2006) and Roll Bounce (2005). He was married to Tisha Taylor Murphy. He died on April 12, 2017 in New York City.

83. Steve Harvey

Producer | The Steve Harvey Show

Steve Harvey was born on January 17, 1957 in Welch, West Virginia, USA as Broderick Stephen Harvey. He is a producer and actor, known for The Steve Harvey Show (1996), Family Feud (1999) and Think Like a Man (2012). He has been married to Marjorie Harvey since June 25, 2007. They have one child. He...

84. David Alan Grier

Actor | In Living Color

David Alan Grier was born in Detroit, Michigan, to Aretas Ruth (Dudley), a schoolteacher, and William Henry Grier, a psychiatrist and writer. He trained in Shakespeare at Yale University, where he received an MFA from the Yale School of Drama.

Grier began his professional career on Broadway as ...

85. D.L. Hughley

Writer | The Hughleys

Hughley is the second of four children. His father was an airline maintenance worker and his mother was a homemaker.

He grew up in L.A.'s South Central where he was a member of the Bloods gang after getting kicked out of high school. However, he turned his life around after a cousin was shot. He ...

86. Cedric the Entertainer

Actor | Barbershop

Cedric the Entertainer was born on April 24, 1964 in Jefferson City, Missouri, USA as Cedric Antonio Kyles. He is an actor and writer, known for Barbershop (2002), Be Cool (2005) and Larry Crowne (2011). He has been married to Lorna Wells since September 3, 1999. They have two children.

87. Robert Townsend

Producer | Hollywood Shuffle

Robert Townsend transcends any medium he touches whether he's performing stand up, acting, writing, directing, producing, or running a television network. A Chicago native, Townsend is often referred to as one of the "Godfathers" of the Independent Film World." With over 30 years in the business, ...

88. Faizon Love

Actor | Friday

Faizon Love was born on June 14, 1968 in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba as Langston Faizon Santisima. He is an actor and writer, known for Friday (1995), Elf (2003) and Blue Crush (2002).

89. Affion Crockett

Actor | The Wedding Ringer

Affion Crockett is an actor and writer, known for The Wedding Ringer (2015), Wild 'N Out (2005) and A Haunted House 2 (2014).

90. Jamie Foxx

Actor | Django Unchained

Jamie Foxx is an American actor, singer and comedian. He won an Academy Award for Best Actor, BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, and Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy, for his work in the biographical film Ray (2004). The same year, he was nominated for the Academy...

91. Mo'Nique

Actress | Precious

Monique received a standing ovation when she stepped on stage for the first time in her hometown of Baltimore, Maryland, giving her confidence to pursue a career as a stand-up comedian. After numerous stand-up performances, she took a leap forward with one of the starring roles in The Parkers (1999)...

92. Dave Chappelle

Writer | Chappelle's Show

Dave Chappelle's career started while he was in high school at Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, DC where he studied theatre arts. At the age of 14, he began performing stand-up comedy in nightclubs. Shortly after graduation, he moved to New York City where he quickly established ...

93. Paul Mooney

Brewster's Millions

Paul Mooney was born on August 4, 1941 in Louisiana, USA as Paul Gladney. He is a writer and actor, known for Brewster's Millions (1985), The Buddy Holly Story (1978) and Sanford and Son (1972).

94. Little JJ

Actor | Yours, Mine & Ours

Little JJ was born on October 31, 1990 in Little Rock, Arkansas, USA as James Charles Lewis. He is an actor, known for Yours, Mine & Ours (2005), Just Jordan (2007) and Crossover (2006).

95. Jimmie Walker

Actor | Good Times

He symbolized the 70s American dream of success -- the former kid from the ghetto who rose to wisecracking TV superstardom. While in his element as the broadly strutting, gleamy-toothed J.J. Evans of the popular urban-styled sitcom Good Times (1974), Jimmie Walker lived the extremely good life. ...

96. Kenan Thompson

Actor | Snakes on a Plane

Kenan Thompson was born on May 10, 1978 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA as Kenan S. Thompson. He is an actor, known for Snakes on a Plane (2006), Saturday Night Live (1975) and Kenan & Kel (1996). He has been married to Christina Evangeline since November 11, 2011. They have one child.

97. Guy Torry

Actor | American History X

Guy Torry is a native of St. Louis, Missouri. Known as "Torry" by college friends, Guy attended Southeast Missouri State University, the alma mater of fellow comedian and St. Louisan, Cedric The Entertainer. His comic genius was evident to fellow students during these college years. Guy often held ...

98. Joe Torry

Actor | Poetic Justice

Joe Torry was born on September 28, 1965 in St. Louis, Missouri, USA as Joseph Pierre Torry. He is an actor and writer, known for Poetic Justice (1993), Tales from the Hood (1995) and NCIS (2003). He has been married to Crystal Torry since 2001. They have three children.

99. Tasha Smith

Actress | The Whole Ten Yards

Tasha Smith was born on February 28, 1971 in Camden, New Jersey, USA. She is an actress and producer, known for The Whole Ten Yards (2004), Why Did I Get Married? (2007) and Couples Retreat (2009). She was previously married to Keith Douglas.

100. Jennifer Hudson

Soundtrack | Dreamgirls

Jennifer Hudson is a Grammy Award-winning recording artist, Academy Award-winning actress and best-selling author. Bright and booming talent Hudson is a perfect example of how NOT winning the title of American Idol (2002) can actually be a boon to your career and not necessarily the end of a ...