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Black History Month Makers

Luther J. Battiste, III

Luther J. Battiste, III is the managing shareholder of Johnson, Toal & Battiste, P.A. and has established himself as a tenacious and respected trial lawyer. He is noted for his vigorous cross examinations and persuasive closing arguments on behalf of his clients. Luther, a native of Orangeburg, South Carolina has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers.

John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie

John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie (October 21, 1917 – January 6, 1993) was an American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, composer and occasional singer. All Music’s Scott Yanow wrote, “Dizzy Gillespie’s contributions to jazz were huge.

Charlotta Bass

Charlotta Bass was born in Sumter, South Carolina on February 14, 1874. She relocated to California in 1910 for health reasons. Charlotta Bass took over control of The California Eagle, upon the death of the paper’s founder, John James Neimore, in 1912 and served as its publisher until 1951. She and her husband Joseph Bass, who had served as editor of the Topeka Plain Dealer and the Montana Plain Dealer used The Eagle to push for reforms.

Cleveland Sellers, Jr.

Cleveland Sellers, Jr. (born November 8, 1944) is the current president of Voorhees College, and a veteran civil rights activist who helped lead the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. He was the only person convicted and jailed for events at the Orangeburg Massacre, a 1968 civil rights protest in which three students were killed by state troopers.

Charles Frank Bolden, Jr.

Charles Frank Bolden, Jr. (born August 19, 1946) is the current Administrator of NASA, a retired United States Marine Corps Major General, and former NASA astronaut. A 1968 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, he became a Marine Aviator and test pilot.

I.S. Leevy Johnson

I.S. Leevy Johnson – In 1985, reached the zenith in the South Carolina legal profession when he ascended to the presidency of the South Carolina Bar. A product of Richland County public schools (1960 graduate of C.A. Johnson High School), after high school I.S. enrolled at the University of Minnesota, where he received an Associate of Mortuary Science Degree in 1962.

Deborrah Kaye “Debbie” Allen

Deborrah Kaye “Debbie” Allen (born January 16, 1950) is an American actress, dancer, choreographer, television director, television producer, and a member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities.