The Arts & Literature:
- William (Count) Basie- Internationally known pianist, composer, arranger, and band leader.
- Sterling Brown- Teacher, poet, writer, Professor Emeritus of Literature at Howard University, has a special foundation for folk culture and jazz music.
- William H. "Bill" Cosby - Comedian, author, and actor.
- Steve Harvey - Comedian and actor.
- Roland Hayes- Internationally known tenor of the 1920's; sang in five different languages.
- Langston Hughes- The Black poetlaureate, excelled as a poet, playwright, novelist, lyricist, and humorist.
- Tom Joyner - Radio show host.
- Rickey Smiley - Comedian and actor.
- Max Roach - Internationally known drummer.
- Joe Torry - Comedian, author, actor, and producer.
- Jerry Ball - 3 time Pro Bowler and former NFL defensive lineman.
- Joe Black - All-time great Brooklyn Dodger baseball pitcher. Lowest ERA in the Major Leagues in 1952.
- Vince Carter - 8-time All-Star. 2-time All-NBA guard for the New Jersey Nets. 1999 NBA Rookie of the Year.
- Mark Duper - 3 time Pro Bowler and 2-time All-Pro former wide receiver with Miami Dolphins.
- Clarence E. "Big House" Gaines - Hall of Fame Basketball coach. Coached at Winston-Salem State University from 1946 - 1993. Also, 4-year All-CIAA lineman in football.
- Dr. Edwin Bancroft (E.B.) Henderson - Captain and outstanding player on the Washington 12th Streeters (1906-1910). He is known as the "Father of Black Sport History". First Black male to become certified to teach Physical Education in public schools.
- William DeHart Hubbard - University of Michigan sprinter; first black person to represent the United States in the Olympic Games in 1924.
- Keith Jackson - 5 time Pro Bowler and 5 time All Pro former NFL Tight end.He was inducted to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2001.
- Ed "Too Tall" Jones - Former Outstanding player with the Dallas Cowboys.
- Michael Jordan - Outstanding former player with the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards. Voted to NBA Hall of Fame in 2009.
- Cedric "Cornbread" Maxwell - Outstanding former professional basketball player with the Boston Celtics and other teams. 1981 NBA Finals MVP.
- Steve McNair - Outstanding former NFL player with the Tennessee Titans and Baltimore Ravens.
- Shaquille O'Neal - Star center with the Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers is a 14 time NBA All-star. He is 3 time NBA Final MVP and 2000 NBA MVP.
- Brice Taylor - University of Southern California football legend. Guard on mid 1920’s team. Schools first All-American.
- Terrence Trammell - 2-time (2000, 2004) Olympic silver medalist in 110m hurdles.
- Mo Vaughn - Former outstanding baseball player with the Boston Red Sox.
- Charlie Ward - 1993 Heisman Trophy winner and former NBA guard with the NY Knicks.
- Nathaniel Bronner - Co-Owner of Bronner Brothers Beauty.
- Earl Graves - Chairman and CEO of Black Enterprise Magazine.
- Jessie Hill - President of Atlanta Life Insurance Company.
- Therman McKenzie - Former Co-Owner of M & M Products (Sta Soft Fro).
- Wiley Branton - Attorney of the "Little Rock Nine" and former Dean of Howard University School of Law.
- Ernest Green - Civil Rights Activist - Little Rock 9
- Oliver Hill - Civil Rights attorney whose work against racial discrimination helped end the doctrine of “separate but equal”. 1999 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient.
- Benjamin Hooks - Succeeded Roy Wilkins as Executive Director of the NAACP, the most effective of all civil rights organizations.
- Jesse Jackson- Former Director of Operation PUSH; Founder, National Rainbow Coalition.
- Vernon Jordan - Noted Attorney and Former Executive Director of the National Urban League.
- Clarence M. Mitchell Jr. – Former head of the Washington Bureau of the NAACP and major contributor to civil rights legislation.
- James Nabrit - Former Dean of the Howard University Law School and former president of Howard University. A leader in the training of the early Civil Rights lawyers.
- Grant Reynolds - Played a major role in President Truman's 1948 decision to desegregate the United States Armed Forces.
- Roy Wilkins - Long-time Executive Director of the NAACP.
- Professor Frank Coleman - Professor and head of the Physics Department, Howard University.
- Herman Dreer - Teacher, minister, writer, and author of The History of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., 1911 to 1961.
- Dr. Benjamin E. Mays - President Emeritus of Morehouse College, writer and lecturer.
- Dr. Carter G. Woodson - The earliest and most outspoken proponent for the study of Black History.
Government & Politics:
- Clifford L. Alexander, Jr. - Secretary, Department of the Army.
- James E. "Jim" Clyburn - The House Majority Whip in the 110th Congress. (2nd Black to hold that position).
- William Hastie - FirstGovernor of the Virgin Islands.
- Rev. Jesse Jackson - Founder of both entities that merged to form Rainbow/PUSH. Candidate for the United States Presidency in 1984 and 1988. Served as “Shadow Senator” for DC from 1991 to 1997.
- Vernon E. Jordan, Jr. - 2001 Springarn Medal recipient. Executive Director of United Negro College Fund and a former president of the National Urban League. He also served as a close adviser to President Bill Clinton.
- Clarence Lightner - 1st Black Mayor of Raleigh, NC. Held the posts of the Director of the CDC and the Administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry from 1993 to 1998.
- Kendrick B. Meek - Congressman serving the 17th Congressional District of Florida since 2003. A former trooper with the Florida Highway Patrol where he became Florida's 1st African-American to promoted to the rank of Captain.
- David Satcher - Appointed the 16th Surgeon General of the United States.
- Walter E. Washington - 1st Home-Rule mayor of the District of Columbia. Former Executive Director of the National Capital Housing Authority.
- George L.P. Weaver - Former U.S. Secretary of Labor.
- Robert C. Weaver - Former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
- Togo West - Secretary of the Army.
- Lawrence Douglas Wilder - Former Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
- Charles Bolden - Astronaut, graduate of the United States Naval Academy (pilot). NASA Administrator (July 17, 2009 - present).
- Dr. Charles Drew - Perfected the use of blood plasma; Professor of Surgery at Howard University.
- Dr. Fred Drew Gregory - Astronaut, graduate of the United States Air Force Academy (pilot).
- Dr. Percy Julian - Discovered the use of foam to extinguish fires and discovered a method of producing cortisone synthetically.
- Dr. Ernest Everett Just - Internationally known biologist and professor at Howard University.
- Dr. Ronald E. McNair - Astronaut, graduate of M.I.T., Ph.D. in Physics (civilian).
- Dr. Hildrus Poindexter - Bacteriologist who studied the epidemiology of tropical diseases.