Important Figures

Article titled Joe Randall

Joe Randall

“Randall’s expertise in Southern cuisine is held in such high esteem that he was honored and featured in the Culture Expressions Gallery of the newly opened Smithsonian Institute of National Museum of African-American History and Culture in Was... Continue Reading
Article titled Leah Chase

Leah Chase

“… a legend, an icon and an inspiration.  It is impossible to overstate what she meant to our city and to our community.  At Dooky Chase’s Restaurant, she made Creole cuisine the cultural force that it is today, she made a family-ow... Continue Reading
Article titled Jackie Taylor

Jackie Taylor

“Jackie Taylor … rose from modest roots to become a distinguished director, producer, actress, educator, singer, playwright and theater founder.” ~ The Black Theater Ensemble Jacqueline Elizabeth Taylor was born in Chicago, Illinois on ... Continue Reading
Article titled George C. Wolfe

George C. Wolfe

“Wolfe’s influence has established him as ‘one of the leaders of a new generation … in the American theater - one whose work raises provocative questions about racial culture, history, and identity ...’” ~ Hilary De Vr... Continue Reading
Article titled James Beckwourth

James Beckwourth

“Jim Beckwourth was an African American who played a major role in the early exploration and settlement of the American West.  Although there were people of many races and nationalities on the frontier, Beckwourth was the only African Americ... Continue Reading
Article titled Azie Taylor Morton

Azie Taylor Morton

“She was a no-nonsense kind of woman but at the same time a caring woman … She taught you that you could be a woman and an African American and succeed regardless of the obstacles before you.” ~ Dawnna Dukes, Texas state representative in ... Continue Reading
Article titled Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin

Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin

“Called ‘a woman of rare force of character, mental alertness and of generous impulses’ by Booker T. Washington, Ruffin dedicated her life to bettering the lives of women and African Americans both locally and nationally.” ~ National Par... Continue Reading
Article titled Earl G. Graves

Earl G. Graves

“Earl Graves was a catalyst for change and progress in the African American community … He also provided a bridge from the African American community to the larger White corporate community.  He challenged the status quo.  And he soug... Continue Reading
Article titled Cholly Atkins

Cholly Atkins

“It was like nothing you had ever seen … He gave us more than steps … Cholly gave us wisdom.  He taught us how to touch an audience and about living life.  He was Motown's father figure.” ~ Duke Fakir, Member of The Four Tops ... Continue Reading
Article titled Blondell Cummings

Blondell Cummings

“Her deep humanism informed workshops she crafted to help dancers and non-dancers alike feel more whole, more connected with themselves and each other.  As a performer, she was an electric presence and a beautiful mover.  As a choreogra... Continue Reading