Axel Alonso is an american comic book creator, known primarily as an editor at DC Comics from 1994–2000, and at Marvel Comics from 2000 to the present. At DC, he edited books such as Doom Patrol, and a number of books published under their Vertigo line, such as Animal Man, Hellblazer, Preacher and 100 Bullets. As Senior Editor at Marvel Comics, he edited Spider-Man and X-Men related books before ascending to Vice President, Executive Editor in 2010, and Editor-in-Chief in January 2011, replacing Joe Quesada.
With a wide range of credits to his name in almost every film discipline, including directing, producing, acting and writing, Bill Duke has founded Duke Media, formerly Yagya Productions, which has been in existence for approximately thirty years. Mr. Duke’s credits as an actor include Films such as, “American Gigolo”, “Car Wash”, “Commando”, “Predator”, “Menace II Society”, “Bird on a Wire”, “The Limey”, “Get Rich or Die Trying”, “X-Men 3” and the independent film “Yellow.” Mr. Duke continues to perfect and display his expertise as a director in multiple television pilots and episodes as well as in feature films such as; “The Killing Floor”, “A Rage in Harlem”, “Sister Act 2”, “Deep Cover”, “Hoodlum” and most recently “Cover” and “Not Easily Broken”. His most recent project is a documentary chronicling the history of Blacks in baseball and “Henry’s Crime” starring Keanu Reeves and James Caan.
Cheryl Eaton is a woman with a mission. Her agenda is to bring together and celebrate black women in comics, whether they are consumers, writers, artists, or characters. To accomplish this task, she founded The Ormes Society, named after the influential cartoonist Jackie Ormes. After frustration with seeing black female comic creators “operating in a vacuum without emotional support or networking opportunities,” she decided to create a networking site to change that. She runs the Society’s website, as well as a blog called Digital Femme. She is also the creator of the webcomic entitled Simulated Life.
Chuck Creekmur is the co-founder of AllHipHop.com, a website that has been described as the “CNN of hip-hop.” AllHipHop.com is a hip-hop news website that was originally started to provide a platform for Creekmur’s partner, Greg Watkins, to publicize his music label. Creekmur was a freelance journalist at the time, and they merged their endeavors. AllHipHop.com has won multipled awards and accolades from the hip-hop and Internet community.
Cree Summer is an American Canadian actress, voice actress, and singer. She is best known for her role as college student Winifred “Freddie” Brooks on the NBC sitcom A Different World. As a voice actress Summer provided the voices for Penny in Inspector Gadget during Season 1, Elmyra Duff in Tiny Toon Adventures, Susie Carmichael on Rugrats and All Grown Up, Princess Kida in Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Valerie Gray in Danny Phantom, Foxxy Love in Drawn Together, Numbuh 5 in Codename: Kids Next Door, Magma in X-Men Legends, and many more.
Darrell Miller is a preeminent attorney in the world of entertainment law. He is the co-founder of the Mason Miller, LLP, and has represented some of the biggest names in Hollywood. He has been inducted into the Black Entertainment & Sports Lawyer’s Hall of Fame, and has even been named one of Black Enterprise’s Top 50 Showbiz Players. He currently works in Los Angeles.
David Walker is best known as the creator of the pop culture magazine BadAzz MoFo. His vast knowledge of blaxploitation films has established him as a leading expert in black cinema of the 1970s. He is the co-author of the book Reflections on Blaxploitation. Walker has also worked as a film critic, and he was creative director for the Longbaugh Film Festival in Portland, Oregon.
Dawn Richard is a singer and former member of the music group Danity Kane. Although the group was dismantled in 2009, Dawn Richard created a comic book series based on Danity Kane that will be released in August 2010, published by eigoManga. Written by Natasha McGough and illustrated by Kim Jimin, the plot follows a young woman who attempts to save her people from an oppressive power. Dawn Richard is currently working on the book, while also performing as part of the hip hop group Dirty Money with Sean “Diddy” Combs and Kalenna Harper.
Denys Cowan is an Eisner Award-nominated artist with a prolific body of work in the comics industry. He also has an extensive career in the animation industry, and was a producer for the Static Shock and Boondocks animated series. He co-founded Milestone Media, and co-created Hardware, Milestone’s first title. He most recently served as Senior Vice President for BET Animation.
Derek T. Dingle is senior vice president/editor-in-chief of BLACK ENTERPRISE magazine. He is responsible for the strategic planning and editorial direction of the magazine and has executive oversight of both BLACK ENTERPRISE television shows: Black Enterprise Business Report and Our World with Black Enterprise. He also oversees content development for the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference + Expo and other events related to the company.
Dwayne McDuffie is an Emmy-nominated writer, who has written for comics and television. He co-founded Milestone Comics, and wrote episodes for the Static Shock animated series. He was a writer for the Justice League animated series, and a producer and story editor for Justice League Unlimited. He has also story-edited for the Cartoon Network hit, Ben 10: Alien Force. In Memoriam
Ehrich Van Lowe is a producer, screenplay writer, and author that has worked on shows such as The Cosby Show, Even Stevens, and Homeboys in Outer Space. He has also written episodes for The Cosby Show and Roc, and was nominated for an Emmy for his work. He has recently stepped into the young adult fiction genre, with his novel Never Slow Dance With a Zombie, a horror novel with a comedic twist. He has recently followed it up with an e-book entitled I Want You Back, which is available on his blog, vanlowe.blogspot.com.
Erika Alexander is an American actress, best known for her roles as Pam Tucker on the NBC sitcom The Cosby Show (1990-1992), and as the strong-willed attorney Maxine Shaw on the FOX sitcom Living Single (1993-1998). She has won numerous awards for her work on Living Single, including two NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series.
Rusty Cundieff is a critically acclaimed writer, director, and producer. Early in his career, he wrote, directed, and co-starred in Fear of a Black Hat, a faux-documentary that parodied the growing hip hop industry. Fear of a Black Hat was a critical success, and afterwards he directed the horror anthology set in an urban neighborhood, Tales from the Hood. He has also directed several episodes of The Chappelle Show, and recently directed and starred in a parody of MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This” that centered on Barack Obama.
J. August Richards is an American actor. He is best known for his portrayal of vampire hunter Charles Gunn on the WB television series Angel and Mike Peterson/Deathlok in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
James Harvey Kennedy was born in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, on May 25, 1970. His first role in a movie was as Brad in the film Road to Flin Flon (2000), which was filmed in the early 1990s but was not released until spring 2000. He is most popular for playing the role of the movie buff, geeky Randy Meeks, in Scream (1996), Scream 2 (1997), and Scream 3 (2000). In 2002, Kennedy created and starred in his own sketch comedy show “The Jamie Kennedy Experiment”.
Having had parents that overcame incredible obstacles, Jeffrey Wright grew up knowing that there is no limit to what a determined man can accomplish. At age 16 he graduated high school, and graduated college at 20. He earned a law degree at Georgetown University, discovered his love for business, and earned an MBA shortly thereafter. During this time, he entered seminary and became a licensed Baptist preacher. In 1994, he made a decision that combined his love for business and for ministry: serving as the president and CEO of Urban Ministries Inc., a faith-based publishing company. In the years that Jeffrey took the position, UMI has tripled in size and continues to publish enriching Christian media for the African-American community.
Jimmy Diggs has the Hollywood success story that everyone wishes they had. He was a Vietnam vet working as a security guard for a movie studio, looking to write science fiction. A producer friend asked him for a pitch, as a favor, and a studio found it worth buying. Since then he has written multiple TV episodes, articles, and short stories. His first major successes were several episodes that he sold to Star Trek, the first of which was based on actual events he experience in Vietnam. These days he runs his own production company called “House of Diggs Production.”
John Dokes has worked for Marvel for over 10 years in both the Publishing and Digital Media divisions. He has overseen major releases and promotions and was responsible for the 2007 launch of Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited. He is now the Senior Vice President of Integrated Sales and Marketing. John has also worked with several world renowned brands including Volkswagen, Chrysler, and MTV Networks. His creative outlets have included writing an issue of X-Force and serving as a vocalist with the George Gee Swing Orchestra, 2010 saw the release of his first CD, entitled “John Dokes Sings, George Gee Swings.”
John Jennings is an Associate Professor of Visual Studies at the State University of New York at Buffalo. His research and teaching focus on the analysis and disruption of African American stereotypes in popular visual media. He is an accomplished designer, curator, illustrator, and award-winning graphic novelist. Jennings is co-author of the graphic novel The Hole: Consumer Culture, the coffee-table book Black Comix: African American Independent Comics a, and co-curator of Out of Sequence: Underrepresented Voices in American Comics. Jennings is currently working on the upcoming graphic novel adaptation of Octavia Butler’s classic dark fantasy novel Kindred along with longtime collaborator Damian Duffy for ABRAMS ComicArts. His current exhibition of art work with collaborator Stacey Robinson, entitled Black Kirby: In Search of the MotherBoxx Connection, is presently on tour around the country.
Keith Knight, aka “Keef,” an award-winning California-based cartoonist, best known for his strips The K Chronicles and (Th)Ink. While his work is humorous and universal in appeal, he also often deals with political, social, and racial issues.
Kel Mitchell started his acting career as a teenager on the sketch comedy show All That. His frequent comedy partner, Kenan Thompson, and he went on to be the stars of their own show, Kenan and Kel. He also played a part in the 1999 film Mystery Men, a story about a group of misfit superheroes. Since then he has been a frequent guest star on several TV shows, and recently had his own segment on G4’s Attack of the Show, where he plays multiple characters.
Kevin Grevioux is an American actor, screenwriter, and comic book writer. He is best known for his role as Raze in the Underworld film series, which he co-created and for writing the original screenplay for I, Frankenstein which is based on his graphic novel of the same name.
Chris “Ludacris” Bridges is an internationally acclaimed rapper and actor, with over 20 million records sold worldwide. He has received the Screen Actor’s Guild award, multiple Grammys and BET awards, and a Critic’s Choice Award. He has also been politically involved with the Obama campaign through his music, as well as using his position to speak out against politicians he disagrees with. He is the founder of the Ludacris Foundation, which helps middle school students discover or become involved in the arts. Ludacris has also had seven main roles in his acting career, and ten studio released albums. He has just released his tenth album, Battle of the Sexes, this year.
Mark and Mike Davis—known sometimes as “the Madtwiinz,” the Davis brothers are both animators and comic book illustrators. They have done freelance animation work for most of the major studios in Hollywood, and have formed their own company called Imajimation Studios. They also have a publishing arm called Street Legends Ink. The Davis brothers are the creators of the comic Blokhedz, a story about an aspiring rapper with the ability to turn his music into reality. Blokhedz has been praised for its gritty and honest look at inner-city life. They have recently signed a deal with Gatorade to do a series of short episodes of an animated Blokhedz series, and are currently finishing that.
In his forty-year career in comics, Marv Wolfman has created some of the most memorable and enduring characters in comics. He created Blade, the conflicted vampire hunter, while writing The Tomb of Dracula for Marvel. At DC, he created The New Teen Titans, an update of the Teen Titans, and it became a huge hit. He then wrote the bestselling event Crisis on Infinite Earths, which revamped the history of the DC characters. He has recently completed a miniseries based on the God of War videogames for Wildstorm Comics.
Melissa Geppi is the Editor in Chief of FAN magazine and the President of Geppi Entertainment Museum in Balitmore, MD. Geppi’s Entertainment Museum is dedicated to presenting the story of popular culture since the nation’s earliest days in an entertaining and educational fashion so that our guests have the unique opportunity to walk through a timeline that parallels and is entwined with history as a whole.
Method Man is a member of the Wu-Tang Clan and is a successful hip hop artist and producer. His debut album, Tical, sold one million copies, and he has performed or produced on several acclaimed records since then. He has collaborated with some of the biggest names in the industry, including Jay-Z, P. Diddy, The Notorious B.I.G., among others. He also has a thriving acting career, with recurring roles on The Wire, Oz, and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. He has also helped write a Wu-Tang Clan graphic novel.
Michael Jai White is both an accomplished actor and martial artist. He has built a lasting and strong career in film while also attaining black belts in seven different martial art styles, accumulating 26 titles during his career. His breakout role was the titular character in the film Tyson, based on Mike Tyson’s life. Since then he has starred in several different genres of film, from Why Did I Get Married? to The Dark Knight. In 2009 he starred in the blaxploitation homage/parody Black Dynamite, which he also co-wrote.
Michael Gold (born August 4, 1950) was media coordinator for the defense for the Chicago Conspiracy Trial, is a former Group Editor and Director of Editorial Development at DC Comics, co-founder of First Comics, and the co-founder and director of communication National Runaway Switchboard as well as a disk jockey in Chicago in the 1970s.
Gold launched First Comics in 1983 with a line-up of creators including Frank Brunner, Mike Grell, Howard Chaykin, Joe Staton, Steven Grant, Timothy Truman, and John Ostrander. Among the titles Gold edited were Chaykin’s satirical futuristic cop series American Flagg; Ostrander and Truman’s GrimJack; Mike Baron & Steve Rude’s Nexus; Badger; Jim Starlin’s space opera series Dreadstar and Mike Grell’s Jon Sable Freelance, which was briefly adapted for TV.
As the founder of Dark Horse Comics, Mike Richardson has published some of the most acclaimed and popular comics in the industry today. Starting with Dark Horse Presents #1, produced in his own comic shop, Richardson has grown Dark Horse into the largest independent comics publisher in North America. He has also produced several successful films based on the properties that Dark Horse publishes. He is currently producing a movie adaptation of Emily the Strange, as well as several other Dark Horse projects.
Ne-Yo is one of the most successful songwriters and artists of the 2000s. By the close of 2009, Ne-Yo had racked up a career’s worth of accomplishments. He released three albums, all of which went platinum in the United States. Seven of his singles, as well as five on which he appeared as a featured artist, peaked within the Top Ten of the country’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop chart.
Nichelle Nichols is a talented actress, and singer. She has volunteered her time to the space program, both in recruiting and serving on the Board of Governors for the National Space Society. However, she is known internationally as a legend for her role as Lt. Uhura in the Star Trek television series, where she was the first black woman to portray a character on TV who was not a servant, but rather a high-ranking official. She has recently played CJ, a CEO of a galactic cab company in an Internet sci-fi musical/comedy called The Cabonauts.
Nnedi Okorafor is an award-winning fantasy author. She was born in America to two Nigerian immigrants. Although she is native to the US, she spent a lot of time in Nigeria as a child, and her writing reflects her cultural roots and influences. To date, she has three published novels: Zahrah the Windseeker (2005), The Shadow Speaker (2007), and Who Fears Death (2010). She has also written a large body of short stories, published in anthologies such as Writers of the Future and Strange Horizon. Nnedi Okorafor is currently professor of creative writing at the University of Chicago.
Orlando Jones began his Hollywood career at 19 writing on NBC’s A Different World, Fox’s Martin and writing/producing Fox’s Roc Live. Orlando later combined his writing and acting talents when he joined Fox’s 14 year long sketch comedy franchise MADtv. Orlando also wrote produced and stars in the graphic novel action comedy, Tainted Love.
Peter Allen David (born September 23, 1956) often abbreviated PAD, is an American writer of comic books, novels, television, movies and video games. His notable comic book work includes an award-winning 12-year run on The Incredible Hulk, as well as runs on Aquaman, Young Justice, Supergirl, and Fallen Angel. His television work includes series such as Babylon 5, Young Justice, Ben 10: Alien Force and Nickelodeon’s Space Cases, the last of which David co-created.
Prodigal Sunn is a member of the hip hop group Sunz of Man, associated with the Wu-Tang Clan. He has produced two studio albums with the Sunz of Man, and has collaborated with Jay-Z, Outkast, and others. In 2005 he released a debut album called Return of the Prodigal Sunn. He has also won a Grammy Award in France for the single LA SAGA/I AM that featured Prodigal Sunn.
Reginald Hudlin is a critically acclaimed director, with both successful film and TV projects under his belt. His film House Party started a trend of teen hip-hop comedies through the 90’s. In the 2000’s he shifted his focus to television, where he did directorial work on The Bernie Mac Show, Everybody Hates Chris, and Boondocks. He also wrote the new Black Panther series, where he worked with John Romita Jr. For the first arc, and reinterpreted the Black Panther mythos.
RZA is the founder of the Wu-Tang Clan, and a Grammy Award-winning music producer, rapper, and writer. He has produced, written, and performed on many successful albums, and also produced original music for a few movies, including both volumes of Kill Bill. He’s also had parts and been in cameos in several films throughout his career, and has a part in 2010’s Repo Men.
Shaquille Rashaun O’Neal, nicknamed Shaq, is an American retired basketball player, former rapper and current analyst on the television program Inside the NBA. Standing 7 ft 1 in tall and weighing 325 pounds, he was one of the heaviest players ever to play in the NBA. Throughout his 19-year career, O’Neal used his size and strength to overpower opponents for points and rebounds.
Sidney Clifton is a producer for animated films such as both the Hellboy Animated features, and children’s television such as Weebles: Welcome to Weebleville. She has also produced two films with Stan Lee’s company, entitled Stan Lee Presents Mosaic and Stan Lee Presents: The Condor. Sidney has been nominated for a Primetime Emmy award for her work on Hellboy: Sword of Storms.
Stacey McClain is a television writer, story editor, and producer, and is also a book author. She has been a writer for The Parkers, Keke and Jamal, Hidden Blessings, and Sinbad and Friends. She has also been a story editor for The Parkers, and a producer for The World’s Funniest Moments. She has also recently written a series of books about breaking into Hollywood showbusiness, aptly titled The Breaking In Series.
Steve McKeever is Founder/CEO of Hidden Beach Recordings. In addition to McKeever’s discovery and introduction of music sensation Jill Scott, Hidden Beach is home to the first ever official presidential campaign music collection and official 2008 Presidential Inauguration DVD/CD that included work from Stevie Wonder, Maroon-5 and Kanye West.
Tatiana El-Khouri is an Artist fueled by creativity and passion. Her art work is in the collection of the Pentagon and has been featured on the Tyra Banks show, Graphic Artists Guild, Society of Illustrators, and Americans for the Arts. Most recently she was the Co-Curator of Milestones: African Americans in Comics, Pop Culture, and Beyond at the Geppi Entertainment Museum. As the Creative Mastermind behind, Creative Force Group a brand marketing agency. She has work with various notable celebrities, as well as developing and implementing the marketing strategy behind the award-winning documentary Dark Girls featured on Oprah’s OWN network.
Antonio “Tony Rich” Jeffries was born in 1971 in Detroit, Michigan. With a diverse music style that is often confused with Babyface, Tony Rich mixes elements of jazz, rock and soul into his tracks.He got his start in the music industry as a staff writer at LAFACE RECORDS While there, Rich penned hits for Boyz II Men, Johnny Gill, TLC, and Toni Braxton.
Wayne Brady is an American actor, singer, comedian and television personality known for his work as a regular on the American version ofthe improvisational comedy television series Whose Line is it Anyway?. He currently hosts the 2009 revival of Let’s Make a Deal.