Pearl Hobson (1879- ?)

Image Ownership: Public domain In the decades prior to the Russian Revolution, Pearl Hobson became the most popular African American dancer and singer in Imperial Russia.  Known by various names but mostly by her Russian stage name which translated into English was “Mulatto Sharpshooter,” Hobson captivated elite audiences from St. Petersburg … Read MorePearl Hobson (1879- ?)

Jimmie M. Lunceford (1902-1947)

James Melvin “Jimmie” Lunceford, a popular band leader during the swing era, was born near Fulton, Mississippi, in Itawamba County to James Leonard and Beulah Idella Tucker Lunceford in June, 1902. His grandparents, Daniel and Gracie Lunceford, had arrived in Mississippi as slaves from North … Read MoreJimmie M. Lunceford (1902-1947)

Robert “Bobby” Waltrip Short (1924-2005)

Recording artist and three-time Grammy award nominee Bobby Short, a self-taught piano prodigy during his childhood, was regarded as the quintessential sophisticated cabaret and supper-club vocalist and piano player of his time.  Short, who learned to play piano by ear at the age of four, … Read MoreRobert “Bobby” Waltrip Short (1924-2005)

Herbert “Herb” Jeffries (1913-2014)

Herb Jeffries, baritone jazz balladeer and first black singing cowboy in the movies, was born Umberto Alexander Valentino on September 24, 1913 in Detroit, Michigan, to a mixed-race father and an Irish-born mother.  His mother operated a boarding house and raised her son alone.  His … Read MoreHerbert “Herb” Jeffries (1913-2014)

Lisa AKA Sister Souljah Williamson (1964- )

Image Ownership: Public Domain Lisa Williamson, also known as Sister Souljah, is an author, lecturer, rap singer, activist, community organizer and political commentator. Through her music, books, lectures and community work she advocates black power, personal responsibility and activism.  She proudly challenges black Americans to … Read MoreLisa AKA Sister Souljah Williamson (1964- )

Paul “Hucklebuck” Williams (1915–2002)

Image Courtesy of Lisa Y. Williams Saxophonist, bandleader and songwriter Paul Williams was a performer at The Moondog Coronation Ball in Cleveland in 1952, considered to be the first rock concert. He has been recognized as a pioneer in the American music industry. Paul Williams … Read MorePaul “Hucklebuck” Williams (1915–2002)