In the 1970's, a group of ruthless Irish punks called the "Westies", managed to terrorize Hell's Kitchen in New York City. They had a penchant for violence and a desire to control the illegal activities on Manhattan's west side. Young Irish thug Jimmy Coonan teamed up with Mickey Featherstone, a Vietnam veteran with a reputation for being a ruthless killer. The "Westies" ruled the streets, protecting their various rackets, including drug dealing and extortion, through extreme violence. They were so powerful they were able to work as contract killers for the Gambino crime family.
Bowman, as international president of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club, ordered kidnappings, firebombings, assaults and murders. He joined another exclusive club in 1997, the "FBI Ten Most Wanted" list. Bowman was brought to justice with the help of an informant on the inside of the Outlaw brotherhood.
From film to television to the stage, African-American actors have been credited with a wide range of acclaimed and pioneering cinematic works, including Malcolm X, The Last King of Scotland, Remember the Titans, Training Day, Man on Fire, Ali and Ray. Explore our collection of famous black actors, including Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, Forest Whitaker, Jamie Foxx, Will Smith and Richard Pryor.
They've made us laugh. They've made us cry. They've made us nostalgic, and they've even made us vengeful. They're among Hollywood's most famous black actresses, appearing in classic films like The Color Purple, Poetic Justice, Soul Food, Dreamgirls and The Help, as well as on television and on the stage. Explore our collection of famous black actresses, including Halle Berry, Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey, Dorothy Dandridge, Lena Horne and Angela Bassett.
From the early comedy of Nipsey Russell, Richard Pryor and Bill Cosby to the contemporary routines of Steve Harvey, Mo'Nique, Chris Rock, Wanda Sykes and Dave Chappelle, black comedians have often used their wit to become the voice and face of the African-American experience. These legendary comedians have also set a very high bar—not only for African Americans, but for all comics trying to make it in show business. Learn more about these famous jokesters, from their early days to their comic beginnings, to their side-splitting performances and more.
From comedies to history to modern-day dramas, black filmmakers like Tyler Perry, John Singleton, Spike Lee and Gordon Parks have contributed their unique cultural perspectives in Hollywood, and have inspired countless other aspiring black directors and producers to do the same.
Spanning jazz to soul to funk, to more contemporary genres like R&B, rap and pop, African-American musicians are responsible for chart-topping hits like "I Feel Good," "Respect," "Georgia on My Mind," "Let The Good Times Roll," "Good Golly Miss Molly" and "Thriller." Explore our collection of famous black musicians, including Stevie Wonder, Tina Turner, B.B. King, Duke Ellington, James Brown, Little Richard, Beyoncé Knowles, and more.
From Whitney Houston's unbelievable vocal range to Michael Jackson's spot-on pitch and unforgettable choreography, these are the famous black singers who, together, have unequivocally defined pop culture for the masses for more than a century. Explore this group to learn more about some of the world's most renowned African-American vocalists, including Josephine Baker, Whitney Houston, Sammy Davis Jr., Aretha Franklin, Beyoncé Knowles, Chuck Berry, Nina Simone, Mary J. Blige, André 3000, Janet Jackson and Gladys Knight.
They are the famous African-American writers who have fearlessly examined cultural stigmas, provided intimate life details, presented new ideas and created remarkable fiction through literary works. For their prophetic genius, these men and women have received Pulitzer Prizes, NAACP awards and even Nobel Prizes, among other honors. Our list of prominent African-American authors includes Toni Morrison, who has detailed the lives of black characters who struggle with identity amidst racism and hostility; Langston Hughes, a founder of the Harlem Renaissance; and Maya Angelou, who has eloquently chronicled various eras of her life through her autobiographies.