Maya Angelou was born Marguerite Johnson in 1924 in St. Louis. Hailed as one of the greatest written and spoken voices in contemporary history, she has seen life from many viewpoints. In her early life, she was a Creole cook, a streetcar conductor, a cocktail waitress, a dancer, a madam in a house of ill repute and an unwed mother.
Oprah Winfrey born in 1954 in Kosciusko, Miss. is one of the most influential women in the world and with a net worth of reportedly $2 billion is the richest African American woman in the nation. She is a media executive, owner of her magazine and television network, both named OWN, as well as a philanthropist, who has founded several schools in Africa and provided homes for Katrina victims flooded out in New Orleans.
He was president of Johnson Publications located in Chicago where he founded Jet, Ebony, EM magazines, and Negro Digest. Discrimination was so severe in the 1940’s when he launched his first magazines, Johnson had to dress up like a janitor and accompany a white lawyer to be able to enter the building he later bought as his headquarters. When he tried to obtain ads from white firms and to get white corporations to carry his cosmetic lines he was refused.