Wednesday, 30 July 2014

My Heroes named Parts 1 - 7

Part 1

Walter Ellis Mosley (born 12 January 1952), is an American novelist, most widely recognized for his crime fiction. He has written a series of best-selling historical mysteries featuring the hard-boiled detective Easy Rawlins, a black private investigator and World War II veteran living in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles. I'm writing a screenplay for his 1997 novel 'Gone Fishin'.'

Kyle John Baker (born 13 December 1965), is an American cartoonist, comic book writer-artist, and animator known for his graphic novels. His graphic novels 'Nat Turner' and 'Truth: Red White & Black' (with Robert Morales) are worth a look.

Chester Bomar Himes (29 July 1909 — 12 November 1984), was an American writer. His works include 'If He Hollers Let Him Go' and a series of Harlem Detective novels. In 1958 he won France's Grand Prix de Littérature Policière. While he was a freshman at Ohio state University in Columbus, Ohio, he was expelled for playing a prank. In late 1928 he was arrested and sentenced to jail and hard labor for 20 to 25 years for armed robbery and sent to Ohio Penitentiary. In prison, he wrote short stories and had them published in national magazines. Himes stated that writing in prison and being published was a way to earn respect from guards and fellow inmates, as well as to avoid violence.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (15 January 1929 – 4 April 1968), was an American pastor, activist, humanitarian, and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. Murdered by US government proxies. “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.”

Stuart McPhail Hall, FBA (3 February 1932 – 10 February 2014), was a Jamaican-born cultural theorist and sociologist who lived and worked in the United Kingdom from 1951. Hall was one of the founding figures of the school of thought that is now known as British Cultural Studies or The Birmingham School of Cultural Studies. He was President of the British Sociological Association 1995–97.

Frantz Omar Fanon (20 July 1925 – 6 December 1961), was a Martinique-born Afro-French psychiatrist, philosopher, revolutionary, and writer whose works are influential in the fields of post-colonial studies, critical theory, and Marxism. Books of note 'Black Skin, White Masks' 1952 and 'The Wretched of the Earth' 1961.

Gordon Roger Alexander Buchanan Parks (30 November 1912 – 7 March 2006), was an American photographer, musician, writer and film director. He is best remembered for his photographic essays for Life magazine and as the director of the 1971 film, Shaft. With his film adaptation of his autobiographical novel, The Learning Tree in 1969, Parks became Hollywood's first major black director. It was filmed in his home town of Fort Scott, Kansas. Parks also wrote the screenplay and composed the musical score for the film, with assistance from his friend, the composer Henry Brant.

Linton Kwesi Johnson (born 24 august 1952), is a UK-based dub poet. In 2002 he became the second living poet, and the only black poet, to be published in the Penguin Modern Classics series. His performance poetry involves the recitation of his own verse in Jamaican Patois over dub reggae, usually written in collaboration with renowned British reggae producer/artist Dennis Bovell. His middle name, "Kwesi", is a Ghanian name that is given to boys who—like Johnson—are born on a Sunday.

James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix (27 November 1942 – 18 September 1970), was an American musician, singer, and songwriter. Although his mainstream career spanned only four years, he is widely regarded as one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular music, and one of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame describes him as "arguably the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music." His 1968 version of Bob Dylan's 'All Along the Watchtower' is one of my all time favourite songs.

Doreen Delceita Lawrence, Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon, OBE (born 24 October 1952), is a British Jamaican campaigner famous as the mother of Stephen Lawrence, a British teenager who was murdered in a racist attack in South East London in 1993. 

Sarah Lois Vaughan (27 March 1924 – 3 April 1990), was an American jazz singer, described by music critic Scott Yanow as having "one of the most wondrous voices of the 20th century." Nicknamed "Sassy", "The Divine One" and "Sailor", Sarah Vaughan was a Grammy Award winner.

Paul Gladney (born 4 August 1941), better known by the stage name Paul Mooney, is an American comedian, writer, social critic, television and film actor. He is best known for his appearances on Chappelle's Show and as a writer for the comedian Richard Pryor. The creator of Negrodamus and Homey D. Clown.

Aretha Louise Franklin (born 25 March 1942), is an American singer and musician. Franklin began her career singing gospel at her father, minister C. L. Franklin's church as a child. She was also listed as number 1 on Rolling Stone's list of the Greatest Singers of All Time.

Ray Charles Robinson (23 September 1930 – 10 June 2004), was an American singer-songwriter, musician and composer known as Ray Charles. He was a pioneer in the genre of soul music during the 1950s by fusing rhythm and blues, gospel, and Blues styles into his early recordings with Atlantic Records. He also helped racially integrate country and pop music during the 1960s with his crossover success on ABC Records, most notably with his Modern Sounds albums. His mellow and moving 'Come Rain or Come Shine' was played during my wedding ceremony in 2012.

John R. "Johnny" Cash (26 February 1932 – 12 September 2003), was a singer-songwriter, actor, and author, widely considered one of the most influential American musicians of the 20th century.

Part 2

William Blake (28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827), was an English painter, poet and printmaker. Largely unrecognised during his lifetime, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age. I really hate his poem 'The Little Black Boy' (1789) no black person should have to shade anyone from the sun unless that person loves them first. He is buried just a few hundred yards from my home and I visit his grave from time to time. My work was once compared to his which is the greatest compliment I have ever received.

Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock, KBE (13 August 1899 – 29 April 1980), was an English film director and producer. Often nicknamed "The Master of Suspense", he pioneered many techniques in the suspense and psychological thriller genres. The arguably greatest film director who ever lived.

Joan Anita Barbara Armatrading, MBE (born 9 December 1950), is a British singer, songwriter and guitarist. Armatrading is a three-time Grammy Award-nominee and has been nominated twice for BRIT Awards as Best Female Artist. Me Myself I.

Sergio Leone (3 January 1929 – 30 April 1989), was an Italian film director, producer and screenwriter most associated with the "Spaghetti Western" genre. Leone's film-making style includes juxtaposing extreme close-up shots with lengthy long shots. The director of crowd scenes unlike any other. Worked closely with Ennio Morricone the composer to make sound, vison and character work seamlessly. Bravo!

Richard Franklin Lennox Thomas Pryor (1 December 1 1940 – 10 December 2005), was an American comedian, actor, film director, social critic, satirist, writer, and MC. Pryor was known for uncompromising examinations of racism and topical contemporary issues, which employed colorful vulgarities, and profanity, as well as racial epithets. He reached a broad audience with his trenchant observations and storytelling style. He is widely regarded as one of the most important and influential stand-up comedians of all time.

Stanley Kubrick (26 July 1928 – 7 March 1999). was an American film director, screenwriter, producer, cinematographer, and editor who did much of his work in the United Kingdom. He was also one of the greatest photographers of the urban landscape who has ever lived. I have all his films on DVD (except 'Eyes Wide Shut' 1999) and his archive is based at my place of employment The London College of Communication.

George Washington Carver, was an American scientist, botanist, educator, and inventor. The exact day and year of his birth are unknown; he was born into slavery in Missouri sometime by January 1864. 

Born of slaves who died
Too soon to realize
The need his life would be

Selflessy he gave

His wisdom to a way
Where first no minds would see

He said if farm land was to be rich

We must plant crops to replenish it
But it took him persuasion and tests
To convince them Carver's way was best, so

On we go to where who knows

To a place where there's still non-believers
What will it take for heaven sakes
For those who find what's real too hard to believe in
It's that same old story again.

Cesar Chavez (31 March 1927 – 23 April 1993), was an American farm worker, labor leader and civil rights activist, who, with Dolores Huerta, co-founded the National Farm Workers Association.

Malcolm X, born Malcolm Little and also known as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (19 May 1925 – 21 February 1965), was an African-American Muslim minister and a human rights activist. To his admirers he was a courageous advocate for the rights of blacks, a man who indicted white America in the harshest terms for its crimes against black Americans; detractors accused him of preaching racism and violence. He has been called one of the greatest and most influential African Americans in history. Malcolm X was effectively orphaned early in life. His father was killed when he was six and his mother was placed in a mental hospital when he was thirteen, after which he lived in a series of foster homes. He died the year I was born.

Veronica "Randy" Crawford (born 18 February 1952), is an American jazz and R&B singer. She has been more successful in Europe than in the United States, where she has not entered the Billboard Hot 100 as a solo artist. Obviously some cloth ears in the USA. I my first and last wedding dances were to two of her tunes 'Street Life' (1979) and 'You Bring the Sun out' (1981).

Robert Burgess Aldrich (9 August 1918 – 5 December 1983), was an American film director, writer and producer, notable for such films as Kiss Me Deadly, The Big Knife, Attack!, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte and The Dirty Dozen.

John Arthur "Jack" Johnson, nicknamed the Galveston Giant (31 March 1878 – 10 June 1946), was an American boxer, who—at the height of the Jim Crow era—became the first African American world heavyweight boxing champion.

Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (15 April 1452 – 2 May 1519), was an Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer,  anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, writer and inventor of the w.w.w.

Mary Jane Seacole, née Grant (1805 – 14 May 1881), was a Jamaican-born woman of Scottish and Creole descent who set up a 'British Hotel' behind the lines during the Crimean War, which she described as "a mess-table and comfortable quarters for sick and convalescent officers," and provided succour for wounded servicemen on the battlefield. She was posthumously awarded the Jamaican Order of Merit in 1991. In 2004 she was voted the greatest black Briton.

Billy Wilder (22 June 1906 – 27 March 2002), was an Austrian-born American filmmaker, screenwriter, producer, artist and journalist, whose career spanned more than 50 years and 60 films. 'The Lost Weekend' 'Some Like It Hot' 'Sunset Boulevard' and 'Double Indemnity' are in my DVD collection.

Angela Yvonne Davis (born 26 January 1944), is an American political activist, scholar, and author. She emerged as a prominent counterculture activist and radical in the 1960s as a leader of the Communist Party USA, and had close relations with the Black Panther Party through her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, despite never being an official member of the party. Prisoner rights have been among her interests; she is the founder of Critical Resistance, an organization working to abolish the prison industrial complex. She is a retired professor with the History of Conciousness Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a former director of the university's Feminist Studies department.

Charles Richard Drew (3 June 1904 – 1 April 1950), was an American physician, surgeon, and medical researcher. He researched in the field of blood transfusions, developing improved techniques for blood storage, and applied his expert knowledge to developing large-scale Blood Banks early in World War II. This allowed medics to save thousands of lives of the Allied forces. The research and development aspect of his blood storage work is disputed. As the most prominent African-American in the field, Drew protested against the practice of racial segregation in the donation of blood, as it lacked scientific foundation, an action which cost him his job.

Muhammad Ali (17 January 1942), is an American former professional boxer, generally considered among the greatest heavyweights in the sport's history. "I am the greatest."

Jack Kirby, born Jacob Kurtzberg (28 August 1917 – 6 February 1994), was an American comic book artist, writer and editor regarded by historians and fans as one of the major innovators and most influential creators in the comic book medium. He co-created many of Marvel's major characters, including the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, and the Hulk. Despite the high sales and critical acclaim of the Lee-Kirby titles, however, Kirby felt treated unfairly, and left the company in 1970 for rival DC. Kirby returned to Marvel briefly in the mid-to-late 1970s, then ventured into televison animation and independent comics. In his later years, Kirby, who has been called "the William Blake of comics", began receiving great recognition in the mainstream press for his career accomplishments, and in 1987 he was one of the three inaugural inductees of the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame.

Albrecht Dürer (21 May 1471 – 6 April 1528), was a German painter, engraver, printmaker, mathematician, and theorist from Nuremberg.

Part 3

Ennio Morricone, Grand Officer OMRI (born 10 November, 1928), is an Italian composer, orchestrator, conductor and former trumpet player, who has written music for more than 500 motion pictures and television series, as well as contemporary classical works.

William Hogarth (10 November 1697 – 26 October 1764), was an English painter, printmaker, pictorial satirist, social critic, and editorial cartoonist who has been credited with pioneering western sequential art. The Father of Narrative Illustration.

Gilbert "Gil" Scott-Heron (1 April, 1949 – 27 May, 2011), was an American soul and jazz poet, musician, and author, known primarily for his work as a spoken word performer in the 1970s and '80s. His poetic style has influenced every generation of hip hop.

George Gershwin (26 September, 1898 – 11 July, 1937), was an American composer and pianist. Gershwin's compositions spanned both popular and classical genres, and his most popular melodies are widely known. Best known works are Rhapsody in Blue, An American in Paris and Porgy and Bess.

Bernard Herrmann (29 June, 1911 – 24 December, 1975), was an American composer known for his work in motion pictures. An Academy Award-winner, Herrmann is particularly known for his collaborations with director Alfred Hitchcock, most famously Psycho, North by Northwest, The Man Who Knew Too Much, and Vertigo. He also composed scores for many other movies, including Citizen Kane, The Day the Earth Stood Still and Taxi Driver.

Joseph Frank "Buster" Keaton (4 October, 1895 – 1 February, 1966), was an American actor, vaudevillian, comedian, filmmaker, stunt performer, and writer. He was best known for his silent films, in which his trademark was physical comedy with a consistently stoic, deadpan expression, earning him the nickname "The Great Stone Face."

Sir Christopher Michael Wren PRS (20 October 1632 – 25 February 1723) is one of the most highly acclaimed English architects in history. He was accorded responsibility for rebuilding 52 churches in the City of London after the Great Fire in 1666, including his masterpiece, St. Paul's Cathedral, completed in 1710. St. Paul's Cathedral is the greatest building in history of the world.

Michael Latham Powell (30 September 1905 – 19 February 1990), was a renowned English film director, celebrated for his partnership with Emeric Pressburger. Through their production company "The Archers", they together wrote, produced and directed a series of classic British films, notably 49th Parallel (1941), The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943), A Matter of Life and Death (1946, also called Stairway to Heaven), Black Narcissus (1947), The Red Shoes (1948), and The Tales of Hoffmann (1951). His later controversial 1960 film Peeping Tom, however, was so vilified that his career was seriously damaged.

Jack Cardiff, OBE, BSC (18 September 1914 – 22 April 2009), was a British cinematographer, director and photographer. His career spanned the development of cinema, from silent film, through early experiments in Technicolor to filmmaking in the 21st century. Almost universally considered one of the greatest cinematographers of all time, Jack Cardiff was also a notable director. His two Academy Awards (1947, Cinematography; 2000, Honorary Award) came 53 years apart. This the record for 1) most years between first and and last Academy Awards and 2) longest hiatus between Academy Awards.

Russell Conwell Hoban (4 February, 1925 – 13 December, 2011), was an American writer. His works span many genres, including fantasy, science fiction, mainstream fiction, magical realism, poetry, and children's books. He lived in London, England, from 1969 until his death. Riddley Walker is a science fiction novel by Russell Hoban, first published in 1980. It won the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best science fiction novel in 1982, as well as an Australian Science Fiction Achievement Award in 1983. In February 1986, a theatrical version of Hoban's novel Riddley Walker (adapted by Hoban himself) premiered at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, England.

Richard Serra (born 2 November, 1939), is an American minimalist sculptor and video artist known for working with large-scale assemblies of sheet metal. Serra was involved in the Process Art Movement.

Jerome Allen "Jerry" Seinfeld (born 29 April, 1954), is an American comedian, actor, writer, and television/film producer, best known for playing a semi-fictional version of himself in the sitcom Seinfeld, which he co-created and co-wrote with Larry David. Seinfeld is known for specializing in observational humour, often focusing on personal relationships and uncomfortable social obligations. In 2005, Comedy Central ranked Jerry Seinfeld 12th out of 100 as the greatest comedians of all time in its five-part special The 100 Greatest Standups of All Time.

Herman Poole BlountSun Ra (22 May, 1914 – 30 May, 1993), was a prolific jazz composer, bandleader, piano and synthesizer player, poet and philosopher known for his "cosmic philosophy," musical compositions and performances. Space Is the Place.

John Lindley Byrne (born July 6, 1950) is a British-born American comic-book writer and artist. Since the mid-1970s, Byrne has worked on many major American superheroes.

Laurel and Hardy were a comedy double act during the early Classical Hollywood era of American cinema. The team was composed of thin Englishman, Stan Laurel and heavyset American, Oliver Hardy. They became well known during the late 1920s through the mid-1940s for their slapstick comedy with Laurel playing the clumsy and childlike friend of the pompous Hardy. One of the comedy routines they performed was an escalating, tit-for-tat fight, an example of which can be seen in their silent film Big Business from 1929. This film was added to the Library of Congress as a national treasure in 1992. The duo's signature tune, which is known variously as "The Cuckoo Song", "Ku-Ku" or "The Dance of the Cuckoos", played over the opening credits of their films.

James Mercer Langston Hughes (1 February, 1902 – 22 May, 1967), was an African American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist. He was one of the earliest innovators of the then-new literary art form called jazz poetry.

Franklin Christenson Ware, known professionally as Chris Ware (born 28 December, 1967), is an American comic book artist and cartoonist, notable for his Acme Novelty Library series and the graphic novels Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth and Building Stories.

Sir Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards, KNH, OBE, (born 7 March 1952), is a former West Indian cricketer. Popularly known as Viv, he is regarded as one of the greatest batsmen of all time and as one of the very finest players in the history of the sport. Six sixes off six.

Alan Young studied illustration at the Royal College of Art. The inclusion of eight of his paintings in the European Illustration Annual attracted commissions from major magazines in Canada, Germany, the USA as well as in the UK. One of the best tutors I ever had.

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013), was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. A hero for all people and the bravest man in the universe.

Part 4

François-Dominique Toussaint Louverture, also Toussaint L'Ouverture, Toussaint-Louverture, Toussaint Bréda, nicknamed The Black Napoleon (20 May 1743 – 7 April 1803), was the leader of the Haitian Revolution. In 1801 he promulgated an autonomist constitution for the colony, with himself as governor for life. In 1802 he was forced to resign by forces sent by Napoleon Bonaparte to restore French authority in the former colony. He was deported to France, where he died in 1803. The Haitian Revolution continued under his lieutenant, Jean-Jacques Dessalines, who declared independence in early 1804. The French had lost two-thirds of forces sent to the island in an attempt to suppress the revolution; most died of yellow fever.

Cyril Lionel Robert James, best known as C. L. R. James, who sometimes wrote under the pen-name J. R. Johnson (4 January 1901 – 19 May 1989), was an Afro-Trinidadian historian, journalist, socialist theorist and essayist. A tireless political activist, James's writing on the Communist International stirred debate in Trotskyist circles, and his history of the Haitian Revolution, The Black Jacobins, is a seminal text in the literature of the African Diaspora.

Christopher S. "Chris" Claremont (born 25 November, 1950), is a British-born American comic book writer and novelist, known for his 16-year stint on Uncanny X-Men, far longer than any other writer, during which he is credited with developing strong female characters, and with introducing complex literary themes into superhero narratives, turning the once underachieving comic into one of Marvel’s most popular series.

Stevland Hardaway Morris, known by his stage name Stevie Wonder (born 13 May, 1950), is an American musician, singer-songwriter, record producer, and multi-instrumentalist. Wonder is also noted for his work as an activist for political causes, including his 1980 campaign to make Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday a holiday in the United States. In 2009, Wonder was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace.

Roger Alexander Deakins, C.B.E., A.S.C., B.S.C. (born 24 May 1949), is an English cinematographer best known for his work on the films of the Coen brothers and Sam Mendes. Deakins is a member of both the American and British Society of Cinematographers.

Gerry Anderson, MBE (14 April 1929 – 26 December 2012), was an English television and film producer, director, writer and occasional voice artist. He was known for his futuristic television programmes, especially his 1960s productions filmed in "Supermarionation."

Clive Hubert Lloyd CBE AO (born 31 August 1944), is a former West Indies cricketer. In 1971 he was named Wisden Cricketer of the Year. Lloyd captained the West Indies in three World Cups, winning in 1975 (with Lloyd scoring a century) and 1979 while losing the 1983 final to India.

Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky (11 November 1821 – 9 February 1881), sometimes transliterated Dostoevsky, was a Russian novelist, short story writer, essayist, journalist and philosopher. His major works include Crime and Punishment (1866), The Idiot (1869), and The Brothers Karamazov (1880). His output consists of eleven novels, three novellas, seventeen short novels and numerous other works. Many literary critics rate him as one of the greatest and most prominent psychologists in World literature. His novella Notes From Underground is considered to be one of the first works of existentialist literature.

Ishmael Scott Reed (born 22 February, 1938), is an American poet, essayist, songwriter, playwright, and novelist, as well as being an editor and publisher. Reed is known for his satirical works challenging American political culture, and highlighting political and cultural oppression. Reed's work has often sought to represent neglected African and African-American perspectives; his energy and advocacy have centered more broadly on neglected peoples and perspectives, irrespective of their cultural origins.

Benjamin Obadiah Iqbal Zephaniah (born 15 April 1958), is an English writer, dub poet and Rastafari. He was included in The Times list of Britain's top 50 post-war writers in 2008.

White Comedy (1996)
I waz whitemailed
By a white witch,
Wid white magic
An white lies,
Branded by a white sheep
I slaved as a whitesmith
Near a white spot
Where I suffered whitewater fever.
Whitelisted as a whiteleg
I waz in de white book
As a master of white art,
It waz like white death.
People called me white jack

Some hailed me as a white wog,
So I joined de white watch
Trained as a white guard
Lived off the white economy.
Caught and beaten by de whiteshirts
I waz condemned to a white mass,
Don't worry,
I shall be writing to de Black House.

William Shakespeare (26 April 1564 (baptised) – 23 April 1616), was an English poet, playwright and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon." His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.

William Harrison "Bill" Withers, Jr. (born 4 July, 1938) is an American singer-songwriter and musician who performed and recorded from 1970 until 1985. He recorded a number of major hits including "Lean on Me", "Ain't No Sunshine", "Use Me", "Just the Two of Us", "Lovely Day", and "Grandma's Hands". His life was the subject of the 2009 documentary film Still Bill.

Eugene Wesley Roddenberry known as Gene Roddenberry (19 August, 1921 – 24 October, 1991), was an American television screenwriter, producer, and futurist. He created the original Star Trek television series and thus the Star Trek science fiction franchise.

The three W's in successive years in the tiny island of Barbados were born three of the greatest West Indian cricketers, named Frank Worrell, Everton Weekes and Clyde Walcott. Popularly known as the three Ws, they became three leading batsmen in the West Indies team. The three Ws were unrelated and quite different in physical makeup. Their batting styles were also different. Yet all three scored runs with great efficiency and determination, compiling lofty numbers upon retirement. In fact their achievements were often so close that debate raged and still continues today as to who was the greatest cricketer among them.

Talking Heads were an American rock band formed in 1975 in New York City and active until 1991. The band comprised David Byrne (lead vocals and guitar), Chris Frantz (drums and backing vocals), Tina Weymouth (bass and backing vocals) and Jerry Harrison (keyboards, guitar, and backing vocals). Stop Making Sense (1984) is a concert movie featuring Talking Heads live on stage. Directed by Jonathan Demme. The movie is notable for being the first made entirely using digital audio techniques. The band raised the budget of $1.2 million themselves. The title comes from the lyrics of the song "Girlfriend Is Better": "As we get older and stop making sense..."

The Jackson 5 are an American popular music family group from Gary, Indiana. Formed in 1964 under the name The Jackson Brothers, the founding members were Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Michael. After participating in talent shows and the chitlin' circuit, they entered the professional music scene in 1967 signing with Steeltown Records, releasing two singles, before signing with Motown in 1969.

John Charles Bryan Barnes MBE (born 7 November 1963), is a Jamaican-born English former footballer and manager, who currently works as a commentator and pundit for ESPN and SuperSport. An Anfield Legend, Barnes was voted by Liverpool fans at number five in their poll of 100 Players Who Shook the Kop. A year later in 2007, FourFourTwo magazine acclaimed Barnes as the best Liverpool player of all time.

James Edwards (March 6, 1918 – January 4, 1970, was an American actor in films and television. His most famous role was as Private Peter Moss in the 1949 film Home of the Brave, in which he portrayed an African American soldier experiencing racist prejudice while serving in the South Pacific during WWII. Pioneering actor who was among Hollywood's first - years ahead of Sidney Poitier - to crush the Stepin Fetchit stereotype of black males as shiftless illiterates. Although in some pictures Edwards would portray subservient characters (e.g. "General" George C. Scott's valet in Patton (1970), he delivered true dignity in his performances.

Part 5

Liz Pyle is widely recognized as one of the foremost illustrators working today. As an artist her work is in both public and private collections worldwide. 

Émile Édouard Charles Antoine Zola (2 April 1840 – 29 September 1902), was a French writer, the most well-known practitioner of the literary school of naturalism and an important contributor to the development of theatrical naturalism. Zola was initially buried in the Cimetière de Montmartre in Paris, but on 4 June 1908, just five years and nine months after his death, his remains were relocated to the Panthéon, where he shares a crypt with Victor Hugo and Alexandre Dumas.

Robert Mason has worked as a successful illustrator and lecturer since 1976. He has written extensively on Illustration, and started writing fiction in 2005.

Cathy Stocker (born 6 October 1965), is a British artist. She studied at Amersham College of Art and Design and Leeds Polytechnic (Leeds Beckett University), graduating in 1988 with a B.A. (Hons) in Fine Art. Cathy has exhibited in the United Kingdom and Finland. In 2011, she was the 'Pride in the House' winner at Lauderdale House, Highgate, London.. She lives and works from her studio in West Wales.

Anne Howeson is an artist, and tutor at the Royal College of Art. She worked commercially for many years, with publishing and editorial clients from the UK and America, as well as France, Germany and Canada. She now works on self-initiated drawing projects, recently concerning the regeneration of Kings Cross, where she lives. Exhibited Guardian Newspaper, October 2009. She won an award in the Jerwood Drawing Prize 2000.

Napoleon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821), was a French military and political leader who rose to prominence during the latter stages of the French Revolution and its associated wars in Europe. He took power in a coup d'état in 1799 and installed himself as First Consul. In 1804 he made himself emperor of the French people. He fought a series of wars — the Napoleonic Wars — that involved complex coalitions for and against him. After a streak of victories, France secured a dominant position in continental Europe, and Napoleon maintained the French sphere of influence through the formation of extensive alliances and the elevation of friends and family members to rule other European countries as French vassal states.

Daredevil is a fictional character, a superhero that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character was created by writer-editor Stan Lee and artist Bill Everett, with an unspecified amount of input from Jack Kirby and first appeared in Daredevil #1 (April 1964).

Paul Slater is a British Illustrator and painter. His work can be found in newspapers, magazines and advertising. His uniquely eccentric view of British quirkiness is unrivaled in its wit and weirdness, leading the Independent on Sunday to list him among the UK's 10 leading illustrators.

Russell Mills (born 1952) is a British artist. He paints, creates multimedia installations, designs stage sets and lighting and has produced record covers and book covers for or Brian Eno, the Cocteau Twins, Michael Nyman, David Sylvian, Peter Gabriel, and Nine Inch Nails. As a recording artist he has collaborated with many musicians, for example David Sylvian and Peter Gabriel. He has released 2 CDs with his recording project Undark, one of them on the British ambient label Em:t Records.

Darth Vader (born Anakin Skywalker) is a fictional character in the Star Wars Universe. He appears in the original trilogy, as well as the prequel trilogy. The American Film Institute listed him as the third greatest movie villain in cinema history behind Hannibal Lector and Norman Bates.

Caroline Thomson (born 17 May 1969), is an artist with a BA in Illustration from Norwich School of Art and a MA in Narrative Illustration from the University of Brighton. She is the Co-Director of Arena Illustration.

Part 6

Humphrey DeForest Bogart (25 December, 1899 – 14 January, 1957) was an American actor and is widely regarded as an American cultural icon. In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked Bogart as the greatest male star in the history of American cinema. I have 30 of his movies in my DVD collection.

Richard Claxton "Dick" Gregory (born 12 October, 1932), is an American comedian, social activist, social critic, writer and entrepreneur. Gregory is an influential American comedian who has used his performance skills to convey to both white and black audiences his political message on civil rights. His social satire helped change the way white Americans perceived black American comedians since he first performed in public.

"Paul" Gustave Doré (6 January, 1832 – 23 January, 1883), was a French artist, printmaker, illustrator and sculptor. Doré worked primarily with wood engraving.

Lawrence Gene "Larry" David (born 2 July, 1947), is an American actor, writer, comedian, and television producer. He was the co-creator, with Jerry Seinfeld, of the television series Seinfeld, and was its head writer and executive producer from 1989 to 1996.

Sir David Frederick Attenborough OM CH CVO CBE FRS FZS FSA (born 8 May 1926), is an English broadcaster and naturalist. His career as the face and voice of natural history programmes has endured for 60 years.

Louis Armstrong (4 August, 1901 – 6 July, 1971), nicknamed Satchmo or Pops, was an American jazz trumpeter and singer from New Orleans, Louisiana. Renowned for his charismatic stage presence and voice almost as much as for his trumpet-playing, Armstrong's influence extends well beyond jazz music, and by the end of his career in the 1960s, he was widely regarded as a profound influence on popular music in general. Armstrong was one of the first truly popular African-American entertainers to "cross over", whose skin color was secondary to his music in an America that was severely racially divided. He rarely publicly politicized his race, often to the dismay of fellow African-Americans, but took a well-publicized stand for desegregation during the Little Rock Crisis. 

Charles Laughton (1 July 1899 – 15 December 1962), was an English stage and film actor and director. Laughton was trained in London at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and first appeared professionally on the stage in 1926.

Quincy Delight Jones, Jr(born 14 March, 1933), is an American record producer, conductor, arranger, composer, television producer, film producer, instrumentalist, magazine founder, record company executive, humanitarian, and jazz trumpeter. His career spans six decades in the entertainment industry and a record 79 Grammy Award nominations, 27 Grammys, including a Grammy Legend Award in 1991.

Riley B. King (born 16 September, 1925), known by the stage name B.B. King, is an American blues musician, singer, songwriter, and guitarist.

Steven Patrick Morrissey (born 22 May 1959), commonly known by his last name, Morrissey, is an English singer and lyricist. He rose to prominence in the 1980s as the lyricist and vocalist of the band the Smiths. He is an idiot.

John 'Johnny Marr' Martin Maher (born 31 October 1963), is an English musician, singer, and songwriter. He was co-songwriter – with Morrissey – and guitarist of The Smiths between 1982–87, an English rock band formed in Manchester.

Edward Goldenberg Robinson (12 December, 1893 – 26 January, 1973), was a Romanian-born American actor. A popular star during Hollywood's Golden Age, he is best remembered for his roles as gangsters, such as Rico in his star-making film Little Caesar and as Rocco in Key Largo.

Sir Lenworth George "Lenny" Henry (born 29 August 1958), is a British actor, writer, comedian and occasional television presenter best known for co-founding charity Comic Relief and presenting various television programmes including The Magicians for BBC One.

Herbert Jeffrey "Herbie" Hancock (born 12 April, 1940), is an American pianist, keyboardist, bandleader and composer. As part of Miles Davis's Second Great Quintet, Hancock helped to redefine the role of a jazz rhythm section and was one of the primary architects of the "post-bop" sound. He was one of the first jazz musicians to embrace music synthesizers and funk music (characterized by syncopated drum beats). 

The Blues Brothers, more formally called The Blues Brothers' Show Band and Revue, are an American blues and rhythm and blues revivalist band founded in 1978 by comedy actors Dan Ackroyd and John Belushi as part of a musical sketch on Saturday Night Live. Belushi and Aykroyd, in character as lead vocalist "Joliet Jake" Blues (named after Joliet Prison) and harmonica player/backing vocalist Elwood Blues (named after the Elwood Ordnance Plant, which made TNT and grenades during World War II), fronted the band, which was composed of well-known and respected musicians. The Blues Brothers first appeared on Saturday Night Live on January 17, 1976.

Courtney Pine CBE (born 18 March 1964), is an English jazz musician. At school he studied the clarinet, although he is known primarily for his saxophone playing. Pine is a multi-instrumentalist, also playing the flute, clarinet, bass clarinet and keyboards.

Brian Sanders "I was born in London in 1937 and my earliest memories were of seeing a pigeon on a windowsill, and the Battle of Britain in the sky. I remember my father going out to fight fires and rescue people. He then went off to the war and did not come back until I was eight years old. My mother took my sister and me to the country where I was very happily brought up almost entirely by women. After the war, when my father returned home, we went back to London, which opened up a wonderful world of museums and art galleries to me. I have always wanted to be an artist and am still trying very hard."

John Milton (9 December 1608 – 8 November 1674), was an English poet, polemicist, man of letters, and a civil servant for the Commonwealth of England under Oliver Cromwell. Milton's poetry and prose reflect deep personal convictions, a passion for freedom and self-determination, and the urgent issues and political turbulence of his day. Writing in English, Latin, Greek, and Italian, he achieved international renown within his lifetime, and his celebrated Areopagitica (1644)—written in condemnation of pre-publication censorship—is among history's most influential and impassioned defences of free speech and freedom of the press.

Part 7

Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Jr., ONH (17 August 1887 – 10 June 1940), was a Jamaican political leader, publisher, journalist, entrepreneur, and orator.

Burt Freeman Bacharach (born 12 May, 1928), is an American singer–songwriter, composer, record producer and pianist. A six-time Grammy Award winner and three-time Academy Award winner.

Marie Dionne Warrick (born 12 December, 1940), known professionally as Dionne Warwick, is an American singer, actress and TV-show host, who became a United Nations Global Ambassador for the Food and Agriculture Organization, and a United States Ambassador of Health.

Harold Lane "Hal" David (25 May, 1921 – 1 September, 2012), was an American lyricist. He grew up in Brooklyn, New York City. He was best known for his collaborations with composer Burt Bacharach and his association with Dionne Warwick.

Billie Holiday born Eleanora Fagan (7 April, 1915 – 17 July, 1959) was an American jazz singer and songwriter. Nicknamed "Lady Day" by her friend and musical partner Lester Young, Holiday had a seminal influence on jazz and pop singing.

Terence Steven "Steve" McQueen (24 March, 1930 – 7 November, 1980), was an American actor. Called "The King of Cool", his "anti-hero" persona, developed at the height of the Vietnam War-era counterculture, made him a top box-office draw of the 1960s and 1970s.

Edward Kamau Brathwaite (born 11 May, 1930, Barbados), is widely considered one of the major voices in the Caribbean literary canon.

James Berry, OBE (born 1924), is a Jamaican poet who settled in England in the 1940s. His poetry is notable for using a mixture of standard English and Jamaican Patois. Berry's writing often "explores the relationship between black and white communities and in particular, the excitement and tensions in the evolving relationship of the Caribbean immigrants with Britain and British society from the 1940s onwards."

Paul Leroy Robeson (9 April, 1898 – 23 January, 1976), was an African-American singer and actor who became involved with the Civil Rights Movement.

John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie (21 October, 1917 – 6 January, 1993), was an American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, composer and occasional singer. In the 1940s Gillespie, together with Charlie Parker, became a major figure in the development of bebop and modern jazz.

George Lamming (born 8 June, 1927) is a novelist, essayist and poet, who is the most famous writer to emerge from Barbados and one of the Caribbean's most important novelists." Each of his novels is both complete in itself and part of a continually developing vision linked to the changing political scene in the Caribbean, with its urgent problems of political and psychological decolonisation, and to Lamming's evolving understanding of the human condition." He is a visiting professor in the Africana Studies Department of Brown University.

Herbert George "H.G." Wells (21 September 1866 – 13 August 1946), was a prolific English writer in many genres, including the novel, history, politics, and social commentary, and even textbooks and rules for war games.

Anne Yvonne Gilbert (1950/1951), sometimes credited as Yvonne Gilbert, is a British artist and book illustrator. Her controversial cover design of Frankie Goes To Hollywood's 1983 single "Relax" became "one of the most famous record sleeves of all time."

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (29 September 1571? – 18 July? 1610), was an Italian artist active in Rome, Naples, Malta, and Sicily between 1592 and 1610.

Dame Paula Rego (born 16 January 1935), DBE is a Portuguese and British visual artist who is particularly well known for her paintings and prints based on storybooks.

Charlotte Brontë (21 April 1816 – 31 March 1855), was an English novelist and poet, the eldest of the three Brontë sisters who survived into adulthood and whose novels have become classics of English literature.

Anita E. Kunz OC (born 1956), is a Canadian-born artist and illustrator. Kunz has lived in London, New York and Toronto, contributing to magazines and working for design firms, book publishers and advertising.

Käthe Kollwitz (8 July 1867 – 22 April 1945), was a German painter, printmaker, and sculptor whose work offered an eloquent and often searing account of the human condition, and the tragedy of war, in the first half of the 20th century. Her empathy for the less fortunate, expressed most famously through the graphic means of drawing, etching, lithography and woodcut, embraced the victims of poverty, hunger and war.

Bertolt Brecht (10 February 1898 – 14 August 1956), was a German poet, playwright, theatre director, and Marxist. A theatre practitioner of the 20th century, Brecht made contributions to dramaturgy and theatrical production.

The Jamaican Maroons are descended from Africans who fought and escaped from slavery and established free communities in the mountainous interior of Jamaica during the long era of slavery on the island. African slaves imported during the Spanish period may have provided the first runaways, apparently mixing with the native Arawak people. Many slaves gained liberty when the English attacked Jamaica and took control in 1655. Subsequently runaways were referred to as "maroons."

Steven Rodney "Steve" McQueen CBE (born 9 October 1969), is a British film director, producer, screenwriter, and video artist.

Thomas Paine (9 February, 1737 - 8 June, 1809), was an English-American political activist, philosopher, author, political theorist and revolutionary.

Bussa's Rebellion (14–16 April 1816), was the largest slave revolt in Barbadian history. Several hundred slaves under the leadership of the African-born slave Bussa were defeated by British forces. Bussa's Rebellion was the first of three large-scale slave rebellions in the British West Indies that shook public faith in slavery in the years leading up to emancipation. It was followed by a large-scale rebellion in Demerara in 1823 and then by an even larger rebellion in Jamaica in 1831-32. Collectively these are often referred to as the "late slave rebellions."

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