Famous African Americans - List of Famous African Americans

African Americans were historically one of the most discriminated groups in the USA. However things began to change in the late 19th century with the likes of civil rights activists like John Lewis, Samuel Ringgold Ward, and Harriet Tubman raising their voices demanding equal rights for all. The civil rights movement received further momentum in the 20th century with the emergence of leaders like Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and Harry Burns. By the later part of the 20th century, African Americans had begun to make a name for themselves in varied fields such as science, technology, sports, music and literature. Diplomat Ralph Joseph Bunche created history by becoming the first African American to win the Nobel Prize for Peace. History was created by GuionBluford as well when he became the first African American astronaut to venture into space. More recently, Barack Obama claimed the honor of being the first African American to be elected to the US President’s office. Read on for more information about the life and works of famous African Americans.

The Most Famous African Americans

NameBirthdayNationalityBio
Henrietta LacksAugust 1, 1920AmericanHenrietta Lacks was a woman whose cancer cells were used as the source of HeLa cell line
Bill WithersJuly 4, 1938AmericanBill Withers is an American singer-songwriter and musician
Muhammad AliJanuary 17, 1942AmericanMuhammad Ali was a legendary boxer who became the first and only three-time lineal World Heavyweight Champion
Orlando BrownDecember 4, 1987AmericanOrlando Brown is an African-American actor, rapper, voice actor, and singer
Thomas SowellJune 30, 1930AmericanThomas Sowell is an American economist, syndicated columnist, writer and social theorist
Chaka KhanMarch 23, 1953AmericanChaka Khan, also popularly known as the Queen of Funk, is an American recording artist
Malcolm XMay 19, 1925AmericanMalcolm X was a renowned African-American Sunni Muslim civil rights activist
Huey P. NewtonFebruary 17, 1942AmericanHuey Newton was an African-American political activist who co-founded the Black Panther Party
Langston HughesFebruary 1, 1902AmericanLangston Hughes was an African-American poet who made significant contributions to the Harlem Renaissance
AaliyahJanuary 16, 1979AmericanAaliyah was an American singer best known for her album ‘Age Ain't Nothing but a Number’
Henrietta Lacks

Henrietta Lacks

Henrietta Lacks was a woman whose cancer cells were used as the source of HeLa cell line

AmericanAugust 1, 19201,201 views

Nina Simone

Nina Simone was one of the most iconic American musical icons of the 20th century

AmericanFebruary 21, 1933217 views

Prince

Prince Rogers Nelson was an American singer widely regarded as the pioneer of Minneapolis sound

AmericanJune 7, 1958110 views

Taraji P. Henson

Taraji Penda Henson is an African-American actress and singer

AmericanSeptember 11, 1970219 views

Emmett Till

Emmett Till was an African-American teenager who was brutally murdered for allegedly flirting with a white woman

AmericanJuly 25, 1941141 views

Bessie Smith

Bessie Smith was a famous blues and jazz singer from America who is known for her songs like ‘Downhearted Blues’ and ‘The St

AmericanApril 15, 1894156 views

Benjamin Banneker

Benjamin Bannekar was an African American scientist and a strong advocate of racial equality

Mary Church Terrell

Mary Church Terrell was a renowned national civil rights activist and early advocate for women’s suffrage movement

AmericanSeptember 23, 1863100 views

George Clinton

George Clinton was an American politician and soldier who served as the fourth Vice President of United States, from 1805 to 1812.

AmericanJuly 26, 1739107 views

Alex Haley

Alex Haley was an American writer who rose to fame with his book ‘Roots: The Saga of an American Family’

AmericanAugust 11, 1921129 views