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Karen Beasley Young

philanthropist, entrepreneur, syndicated radio and television talk show host, and activist was born Thomas Joyner in Tuskegee, Alabama, the second son of H. L. Joyner, an accountant, and Buddy Joyner, a secretary. He attended Tuskegee Institute and graduated with a degree in sociology in 1970. At Tuskegee he met and married Dora Chatmon in 1970 while both were in their senior year of college. The couple had two sons, Thomas Jr. and Oscar, and divorced in 1996.

During his time as a student at Tuskegee, Joyner developed both a social consciousness, born of his involvement in the civil rights movement, and a passionate sense of social responsibility, born of the mission and vision of historically black colleges and universities. These elements, when combined with his love for music, were instrumental in shaping his life into one of altruism and advocacy.

While growing ...

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Shanteé Woodards

ventriloquist, radio personality, and emcee, was the oldest child born to Bertha and Arthur Takeall in Annapolis, Maryland. His father worked at the Navy Experimental Station, and his mother was a homemaker and community activist. Takeall was a sickly child who stuttered and developed rheumatic fever in the seventh grade. To regain strength from his illness, he ran track at Wiley H. Bates High School, the area's all-black school. He also learned ventriloquism to cope with his stutter. Takeall continued to participate in a variety of sports throughout his life and learned karate from U.S. Marine Corps gunning sergeant Howard George. By the time he was seventeen, Takeall had a black belt and gave lessons to others at the nearby white school, Annapolis High School, in 1964 He also held a variety of jobs including one as a cashier at Dairy Queen which was an ...