Black History Month: 2014 Black Icons

These luminaries have changed the face of art and politics.


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Mary J. Blige - Black History Month is all about celebrating the contribution of African-Americans in all aspects of life. We're putting the spotlight on six icons who have been influential in entertainment and politics. Mary J. Blige channeled a tough childhood into an illustrious career as a singer, songwriter, actress and philanthropist. Known as the Queen of Hip Hop Soul, Blige has sold over 50 million records over the past 20 years.   (Photo: Stuart Wilson/Getty Images)

Queen Latifah - She has conquered music, film and endorsement deals and she's helping us celebrate 13 years of the BET Awards. Don't miss the queen live on June 30! 

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Queen Latifah - A member of hip hop royalty ever since she burst on the scene with her debut album, All Hail the Queen, Latifah put her brains, business savvy and infectious personality to work to build a media empire. The Grammy winner and Oscar nominee is also a CoverGirl, and recently launched her eponymous talk show. (Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)


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Eunice Johnson - The publishing magnate and founder of Ebony was the force behind some of the most influential Black media of the 20th century. Johnson also brought haute couture to Black communities through her Ebony Fashion Fair, which ran until 2009 and also raised millions for charity. (Photo: Abel Uribe/ Chicago Tribune/Landov)

Congressman John Lewis - An American hero and giant of the civil rights movement, Congressman John Lewis was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama in 2011.(Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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John Lewis - The U.S. Representative from the 5th district of Georgia is also a civil rights leader and the only remaining member of the Big Six group of organizations that were active during the movement. The 73-year-old Alabama native has been serving in the legislature since 1987 and was recently awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor by President Obama. (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)


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Ruby Bridges - In 1960, at the age of six, Bridges integrated the William Frantz elementary school in New Orleans, becoming the first Black child in the country to attend a white school. Bridges has since dedicated her life to activism, promoting "the values of tolerance, respect, and appreciation of all differences." She famously said, "Racism is a grown-up disease and we must stop using our children to spread it." (Photo: Times-Picayune /Landov) 

Whoopi Goldberg: November 13 - The outspoken View host, born Caryn Elaine Johnson, turns 57.  (Photo: Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

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Whoopi Goldberg - Goldberg is an actor, activist and talk show host whose breakthrough role was the abused and mistreated Celie in The Color Purple. After Hattie McDaniel, Goldberg was the second Black woman in the history of the Academy Awards to win an acting Oscar. She is one of the few entertainers who have won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award. Goldberg is now a co-host on The View. (Photo: Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)