U.S. history is filled with influential African Americans. Discover four pioneers who changed their communities – and our country. Plus, see how five modern innovators combine strong cultural ties and Verizon technology to empower today’s society. Hear their stories below.
“You can make a life outside of what people may think is the route, but you have to find that for yourself. You have to be interested and you have to appreciate your life. Because you get one. And it really can be amazing.”
Three-time Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter, New York Times bestselling poet, and critically acclaimed actress are only a few titles held by Jill Scott. Before having the #1 album in the country with her new album, "The Light of the Sun", performing at The White House, being named People magazine's Top TV Breakout Star of 2010 and appearing on VH1 Divas alongside Aretha Franklin, the triple threat began her career collaborating with musical icons, The Roots, Will Smith, and Common in the late ’90s.
Never limited to music, Jill Scott is a true multimedia brand across books, clothing, TV and film. Most recently, Jill was cast as the lead character in the HBO/BBC miniseries filmed on location in Botswana. The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency made Jill the first African-American lead featured in a one-hour, cable drama series garnering a prestigious Peabody Award. Before that, Jill starred alongside Tyler Perry and Janet Jackson in the #1 national movie series Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married? as well as Lifetime Movie Network’s Sins of the Mother, the made-for-TV movie which became the second-most watched premiere in the network's history. She is currently filming Woody Allen’s Fading Gigolo and Baggage Claim opposite Paula Patton.
A consummate writer at heart, she penned The Moments, The Minutes, The Hours, a compilation of poems that instantly became a New York Times Bestseller. Scott also developed an intimates line for Ashley Stewart and founded Blues Babe, a registered 501(c)3 foundation that has raised over hundreds of thousands of dollars to support minority students pursuing college degrees.
Verizon proudly recognizes innovator Jill Scott for her remarkable talents and continued efforts to better the lives of today’s youth.