Top five most influential African Americans from Louisville

Story by Makiyah Owens & Braxton Troutman

Muhammad Ali (1942-2016)

Born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr., Muhammad Ali was a professional boxer and civil rights activist. Born and raised in Louisville, Ky., Ali is known as one of the most influential and favored sports figure of the 20th century, and easily the most significant person from the Louisville Metropolitan area.

After attending Central High School, he went on to beat more champions and top contenders than any heavyweight boxing champion in history. Ali won medals, awards, and executed many selfless acts that made him such a significant person not only to the city of Louisville, but to the African American community nationwide.  

Bryson Tiller 

Bryson Tiller is an American singer, songwriter and rapper. Born and raised in Louisville, Ky., Tiller attended Iroquois High school before his career started in 2011. His big break came in 2014 when he gained recognition for his single “Don’t” from his album Trap Soul. The album was released in 2015, and climbed as high as No. 8 on the US Billboard 200.

The single “Don’t” reached No. 13 on the US Billboard Top 100, the highest a Louisville-based hip-hop artist has ever reached. In March of 2016, Tiller received the key to the city from Greg Fisher, and in the same year he received his first awards: Best New Artist and Best Male R&B/Pop Artist at the BET Awards.

Darrell Griffith 

Darrell Griffith was born and raised in Louisville, Ky., and is a graduate of Male High School. Griffith attended the University of Louisville, where he played basketball all four years at the university. While at Louisville, Griffith led the Cardinals to their first NCAA National Championship against the University of California Los Angeles in 1980.

Griffith went on to the NBA, where he was picked second overall in the 1980 NBA Draft by the Utah Jazz. Griffith played 10 season, all with the Jazz, averaging 16 points and three assists per game in his career. In 1997, Griffith started the Darrell Griffith Foundation to help give back to the community of Louisville. More recently in 2014, the Darrell Griffith Athletic Center was opened at the West End School as a gift to the community

Sadiqa Reynolds

Originally from The Bronx, Sadiqa Reynolds has found a home, and a remarkable career, in Louisville. Reynolds is the President and CEO of the Louisville Urban League, and former judge of the 30th Judicial Court. Reynolds is also the first African American woman to clerk in the Kentucky Supreme Court.

Reynolds has brought a positive and energetic attitude since taking over as President of the Louisville Urban League back in October. Reynolds has been recognized for her actions and been called a ¨Woman of Influence¨ by the city of Louisville, and a civil rights advocacy. Reynolds has also been a part of over six different boards and worked as a public servant and role model for most of her life. Reynolds is married to Keith Reynolds and has two daughters, Wynter and Sydney.

Dawne Gee

Dawne Gee was born in Louisville, and attended Pleasure Ridge Park High School. Gee attended the University of Louisville, where she maintained a Bachelor Arts degree in communications and biology. Gee has been a member of the Wave-3 news team since 1994. Before working at Wave, Gee worked in radio broadcasting at Cox Radio as an on-air personality for 17 years.

In 2009, Gee was diagnosed with kidney cancer, and on Nov. 25, suffered a stroke during a live broadcast. Miraculously, Gee recovered from both medical conditions and still continues to fulfill her role as a news anchor on Wave-3 News. Gee serves as an inspiration to the city of Louisville for her commitment to the media, and overcoming her medical issues .

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