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Bert Williams. You wouldn't know it to look at this picture, but Williams was one of the first, wealthiest and most famous black comedians of his day. Booker T. Washington wrote of Williams: "He has done more for our race than I have. He has smiled his way into people's hearts; I have been obliged to fight my way." And WC Fields said of him, "the funniest man I ever saw – and the saddest man I ever knew."

Bert Williams. You wouldn't know it to look at this picture, but Williams was one of the first, wealthiest and most famous black comedians of his day. Booker T. Washington wrote of Williams: "He has done more for our race than I have. He has smiled his way into people's hearts; I have been obliged to fight my way." And WC Fields said of him, "the funniest man I ever saw – and the saddest man I ever knew."

There are few comedians that I ever loved as much as Redd Foxx. I think Sanford and Son might be might favorite sitcom of all time. Here Redd Foxx is with his wife Betty Jean.

There are few comedians that I ever loved as much as Redd Foxx. I think Sanford and Son might be might favorite sitcom of all time. Here Redd Foxx is with his wife Betty Jean.

Richard Pryor Get your Quality, Double Opt-In, Surveyed, Responsive Buyer's Leads Today! http://ibourl.com/1ohd

Richard Pryor Get your Quality, Double Opt-In, Surveyed, Responsive Buyer's Leads Today! http://ibourl.com/1ohd

Redd Foxx and Nina Simone chilling in 1959. They were shot by G. Marshall Wilson (1906-1998), who was a staff photographer for EBONY for 33 years. In other news, this photo will be hanging on my wall in the near future

Redd Foxx and Nina Simone chilling in 1959. They were shot by G. Marshall Wilson (1906-1998), who was a staff photographer for EBONY for 33 years. In other news, this photo will be hanging on my wall in the near future

Maya Rudolph and her fabulous mom..... the legendary Minnie Ripperton ♥

Maya Rudolph and her fabulous mom..... the legendary Minnie Ripperton ♥

From left: Comedian George Kirby, Sidney Poitier, singer Gloria Lynne, Langston Hughes, Harry Belafonte, singer Joe Williams, Diahann Carroll, Nipsey Russell, Paula Kelly and, yes, Duke Ellington, 1966.

From left: Comedian George Kirby, Sidney Poitier, singer Gloria Lynne, Langston Hughes, Harry Belafonte, singer Joe Williams, Diahann Carroll, Nipsey Russell, Paula Kelly and, yes, Duke Ellington, 1966.

Eric Marlon Bishop, professionally known as Jamie Foxx, is an American  singer-songwriter,actor, stand-up comedian, and talk radio host.

Eric Marlon Bishop, professionally known as Jamie Foxx, is an American singer-songwriter,actor, stand-up comedian, and talk radio host.

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