Leonard Albert Kravitz was born in New York City on May 26, 1964 to actress Roxie Roker, and Sy Kravitz, a news producer at NBC-TV. An only child, Lenny was raised on the Upper East Side of Manhattan until the family moved to Los Angeles when his late mother landed the role of Helen on the television sitcom "The Jeffersons."
Donald Cheadle might be the best actor around yet to win an Oscar. His only Academy Award nomination came in 2005 for his powerful performance as Paul Rusesbagina in Hotel Rwanda. But he's been delivering an abundance of critically-acclaimed work both before and since in such films as Devil in a Blue Dress, Boogie Nights, Rosewood, Ocean's Eleven, Crash, Traffic, Swordfish, Talk to Me, Mission to Mars, Traitor, Rush Hour 2, Bulworth and Reign Over Me.
Born in Orlando on July 31, 1962, to Marian, a teacher's aide, and Wesley, Sr., an aircraft engineer, Wesley Trent Snipes was raised in the South Bronx, although the family moved back to Florida before he was able to graduate from NYC's famed, Fiorello La Guardia High School of Music and Art. Still, Wesley went on to study drama in college at SUNY Purchase's prestigious acting conservatory.
Brooklyn-born Tracy Morgan started out in showbiz in his teens, doing standup until he was invited to join Saturday Night Live's ensemble cast in 1996. During his seven seasons on SNL, the colorful comedian played such memorable characters as Brian Fellows, Astronaut Jones and Woodrow while also doing impersonations of everyone from Al Sharpton to Star Jones to Aretha. Currently, Tracy is co-starring opposite Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin on the Emmy-winning NBC series "30 Rock."
Zane (not her real name) is the best-selling author of a plethora of African-American-oriented erotica, including "Dear G Spot," "Afterburn," "Gettin' Buck Wild," "The Heat Seekers," "Addicted" and "The Sex Chronicles," to name a few. This iconoclastic phenom has also edited and/or contributed to such other titles as "Love is Never Painless," "Caramel Flava," "Chocolate Flava," "Best Black Women's Erotica," "Brown Sugar 2," "Twilight Moods," "Dark Dreams," and "Becoming Myself." Besides writing, Zane is the publisher of Strebor Books International for which she is responsible for acquiring dozens of titles per year and currently has nearly 50 authors signed to her imprint.
In the wake of the Haitian earthquake, CNN's Soledad O'Brien rushed to the region to deliver the same sort of high-quality, eyewitness coverage that she has dependably broadcast in the past on location after location from such disaster areas as the Indian Ocean Tsunami and Hurricane Katrina.
Christopher Brian Bridges was born on Sept. 11, 1977, in Champaign, Ill., where he began rapping at the age of 9 and formed his first musical group a few years later. While in his teens, his family moved to Atlanta where he attended Banneker High School before majoring in music management at Georgia State University.
Chiwetel Ejiofor was born in London on July 10, 1977 to Nigerian immigrants, Arinze, a doctor, and Obiajulu Ejiofor, a pharmacist. By the age of 13, he was already appearing in numerous school and National Youth Theatre productions, and he subsequently attended the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts, as well as Dulwich College.