Black actors, directors, producers, and writers within the industry.

Spencer Williams, Jr., actor and director

Williams Jr

Spencer Williams Jr. was born on this date in 1893. He was an African American film and TV actor and director.

Actress from the Delta, Ernestine Wade

Ernestine Wade

*Ernestine Wade was born on this date in 1906. She was an African American actress.

Frederick O'Neal, performer and leader of arts groups

Frederick O'Neal

Frederick Douglass O'Neal was born on this date in 1905. He was an African American stage, film, and TV actor/director who also organized and led theater and arts groups.

Roxie Roker, actress and more

Roxie Roker

Roxie Roker was born on this date in 1929. She was an African American actress and children’s advocate.

She was born in Miami to Albert Roker, who had emigrated from the Bahamas, and Bessie Roker. Roxie Roker attended Howard University and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1952. While at Howard, she was an active member in the Howard Players and was featured in several productions. She was also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.

A gift to see on stage or screen, Frank Silvera

Frank Silvera 1946

Frank Silvera was born on this date in 1914. He was an African American actor.

He was born in Kingston, Jamaica, moved to the United States with his family, where he grew up and attended Boston Public Schools.

Henry Hampton, one of filmmaking's best

Henry Hampton

*The birth of Henry Hampton in 1940 is marked on this date. He was an African American filmmaker.

Hampton was born in St. Louis and as a child suffered from polio. He obtained a B. A. degree from Washington University in his hometown. He was a renowned producer whose television documentary Eyes on the Prize set the pattern for nonfiction accounts of the civil rights movement. His films include The Great Depression and America's War on Poverty, both of which were critically acclaimed. He made lasting contributions through his affiliations with institutions.

Spike Lee, an effectively controversial filmmaker

Spike Lee

*Spike Lee was born on this date in 1957. He is an African American filmmaker, writer, actor, and producer.

From Atlanta, Georgia, Sheldon Jackson Lee (his name at birth) is the son of jazz composer Bill Lee and was raised in Brooklyn, New York. Lee graduated from John Dewey high school and majored in communications at Morehouse College, where he directed his first Super-8 films. In 1978, he enrolled in New York University’s Graduate Film School. While attending these two schools, he met future collaborators, cinematographer Ernest Dickerson and co-producer Monty Ross.

Rex Ingram, 20th century actor on stage, films, and TV

Rex Ingram

Rex Ingram, an African American actor, was born on this date in 1895.

He was born on a houseboat on the Mississippi River near Cairo, IL, when his mother, who was on her way home from a visit with relatives in Natchez, MS, went into labor.

The son of a riverboat fireman, Ingram is said to have grown up working with his father on the steamer Robert E. Lee. He enrolled in Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, in 1912, where he became the first black man to earn a Phi Beta Kappa key at the school.

Mel Stewart, actor and teacher

Mel Stewart

*Mel Stewart was born on this date in 1929. He was an African American musician, teacher and actor.

From Cleveland, Ohio Milton Stewart was also an excellent jazz saxophonist. While in New York he played with the likes of John Coltrane and others. Other music-based endeavors include his voice narrating Scenes in the City on Charles Mingus’ album “New York Sketchbook.” As an actor, Broadway is where he Cut His Teeth before starring in Langston Hughes’ Simply Heaven. From there Stewart moved to San Francisco to be in Chicago’s Second City ipmrov group “The Committee.”

Debbie Allen, brilliant and beautiful theatrical talent

Debbie Allen

Debbie Allen was born on this date in 1950. She is an African American actress, director, producer, and choreographer.

Born in Houston, TX, she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honors from Howard University. Allen began her career on Broadway in the 1970s in the chorus of "Purlie," "A Raisin In the Sun," "West Side Story," and "Anita," which earned her a Tony Award nomination and a Drama Desk Award. She is probabloy best known for her is probably best known for her role as Lydia Grant in the 1982 TV hit, Fame.