Denise Katrina “Vanity” Matthews

Denise Katrina Matthews—singer, songwriter, actress, model, and dancer—was born on January 4, 1959 to a Polish-German Jewish mother, Helga Senyk, and an African American father, Levia James Matthews, in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. She also had two sisters Patricia and Renay Matthews. Her parents divorced … Read MoreDenise Katrina “Vanity” Matthews

Della Reese (1931-2017)

Della Reese, born Delloresse Patricia Early on July 6, 1931 in the Black Bottom neighborhood of Detroit, Michigan, is best known for her work as a blues and gospel singer, minister, and later as an actress. Reese was born to Richard Thaddeus Early, an African American steelworker, and Nellie Mitchelle Early, a Cherokee cook. … Read MoreDella Reese (1931-2017)

Bill Duke (1943- )

Film director and actor (William) Bill Duke was born on February 26, 1943 in Poughkeepsie, New York to Ethel Douglas Duke and William Duke Sr. After earning his A.A. degree from Dutchess Community College, Duke became interested in the performing arts while attending Boston University in Massachusetts, although he initially enrolled … Read MoreBill Duke (1943- )