Nichelle Nichols presiding over a high-stakes crap game in the 1966 film, Mister Buddwing. Photo by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Getty Images.

Nichelle Nichols presiding over a high-stakes crap game in the 1966 film, Mister Buddwing. Photo by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Getty Images.

Happy 55th Birthday Prince! In this photo, he is performing in Chicago in 1984, right around the time he was making regular appearances on the wall of my teenage bedroom. ;) Photo: Richard E. Aaron/The Hell Gate/Corbis.

Happy 55th Birthday Prince! In this photo, he is performing in Chicago in 1984, right around the time he was making regular appearances on the wall of my teenage bedroom. ;) Photo: Richard E. Aaron/The Hell Gate/Corbis.

The Supremes, Diana Ross, Florence Ballard and Mary Wilson during one of their wardrobe fittings in the 1960s.

The SupremesDiana Ross, Florence Ballard and Mary Wilson during one of their wardrobe fittings in the 1960s.

Pittsburgh-born actress Marpessa Dawn of “Black Orpheus” fame, in 1959 issues of EBONY magazine.

Pittsburgh-born actress Marpessa Dawn of “Black Orpheus” fame, in 1959 issues of EBONY magazine.

Beauty contestants backstage at a pageant sponsored by the Shriners in Harlem, 1951. Photo: Burt Glinn/Magnum Photos.

Beauty contestants backstage at a pageant sponsored by the Shriners in Harlem, 1951. Photo: Burt Glinn/Magnum Photos.

Willa Brown Chappell (1906-1992) was a pioneering aviator who co-founded the National Airmen’s Association of America, an organization whose mission was to get African Americans into the United States Air Force. Inspired by Bessie Coleman, Chappell (then known as Willa Beatrice Brown) started taking flying lessons in 1934 at Chicago’s Aeronautical University. She earned her pilot’s license in 1937, making her the first African-American woman to be licensed to fly in the United States. In 1940, she and her first husband, Lieutenant Cornelius R. Coffey started the Coffey School of Aeronautics, where some of the approximately 200 pilots who trained there eventually became “Tuskegee Airmen.” Born in Glasgow, Kentucky on January 22, 1906, she died on July 18, 1992 at the age of 86. Photo: Kentucky.gov

Hazel Scott (with Paul Robeson in the background) performing at a dinner in Brooklyn in honor of Hugh Mulzac, the first African American captain in the U.S. Navy to command an integrated crew during World War II. Photo: Joseph Schwartz/Corbis.