Lorraine Hansberry (1930-1965) pictured in 1959 shortly after her play "A Raisin in the Sun" premiered on Broadway. She was the first African-American woman playwright to have a play produced on Broadway.
Maya Angelou (1928-) shown here performing at the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans, June 4, 1997. Angelou is a celebrated author and poet. Her first autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, described her tumultuous childhood.