Jill Scott was born on April 4, 1972 in The City of Brotherly Love where she was raised by her mother, Joyce, and her maternal grandmother. A naturally-gifted child, Jill was speaking at 8 months and learned to read by the age of 4. She credits her mother for broadening her horizons by taking her to see plays and to museums during her childhood.
Kathryn Stockett and Tate Taylor have been best friends all their lives. Now they're collaborating on a major motion picture. DreamWorks Studios recently slated Stockett's firecracker of a first novel, "The Help," for production. Taylor will be at the helm of his first major studio film.
Mo'Nique collected a basketful of Supporting Actress accolades over the course of the awards season for her gripping portrayal of Mary Jones, the relentlessly-monstrous mother in "Precious."
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.