Monica Calhoun (left), Melissa De Sousa and Nia Long star in The Best Man Holiday, one of this year's eleven top-grossing films starring black actors and by black directors. Michael Gibson/Universal Pictures hide caption

itoggle caption Michael Gibson/Universal Pictures

Medgar Evers was the first NAACP field secretary in Mississippi. The civil rights leader was killed in 1963. AP hide caption

itoggle caption AP

Like many Japanese-Americans, Yuri Kochiyama was place in an internment camp during World War II. She became an outspoken civil rights activist, and began an unlikely friendship with Malcolm X. Courtesy of the Kochiyama family/UCLA Asian American Studies Center hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of the Kochiyama family/UCLA Asian American Studies Center