All during Black History Month, Live 5 will be highlighting the contributions and accomplishments of African Americans. We'll focus on people, places and events from right here in the Lowcountry and across South Carolina.
We're kicking it off with some fun facts, as we take you on a road trip through South Carolina, where some very famous faces from Hollywood have roots.
Let’s start in the small town of Andrews, in Georgetown county, where comedian/actor Chris Rock probably made his entry into the world, cracking jokes. A few months after he was born, his family moved from Andrews to New York City. Rock turned his stand up gig into an acting career on Saturday night Live. Appearances in movies followed and he even had his own tv show, "Everybody Hates Chris. "
Head southwest about 60 miles or so, and you arrive in Summerville, where Shanola Hampton grew up and graduated from Summerville High School.
You know her as that energetic commercial pitchwoman for her father's car dealership. But in Hollywood, Shanola portrays the sexy, fun loving Veronica Fisher on the Showtime dramedy "Shameless."
An hour and a half or so up I-26, you arrive at the birth place of legendary actress/singer Eartha Kitt. She was born in the town of North, in Orangeburg County and moved to New York as a young child. No one could purr like this original Cat Woman from the Bat Man tv series from the 60's.
Many of you sing along to her sultry Christmas tune, "Santa Baby," and in 2012, she played the voice Yzma in the Disney film "The Emperor's New Groove." Kitt died Christmas Day in 2008.
Thirty minutes from the town of North, you arrive in the town of Saint Matthews in Calhoun County. That's where Viola Davis was born on her grandmother's farm. Her family moved to Rhode Island while she was still a baby. This superstar is the first black to achieve what's known as the triple crown in acting. She's won a Tony, an Academy and an Emmy award.
We're gonna stay right here in St. Matthews, because that's also where actor Mike Colter grew up. As a matter of fact, he and Viola Davis are cousins. Colter graduated from Calhoun County High School then headed to Columbia to Benedict College, and then got his degree from the University of South Carolina. Marvel fans know him as Luke Cage, now, he's one of the stars of the tv show "Evil" which airs right here on CBS.
The last stop of famous African American stars takes us to the upstate. In Anderson, Chadwick Boseman graduated from TL Hanna High School. He portrayed Jackie Robinson, Thurgood Marshall and James Brown before becoming King T-Challa in the Marvel blockbuster "Black Panther."