Throwback Thursday: Black History Month Pioneers

A look at the people who used pop culture to impact society.
3:00 | 02/20/14

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Transcript for Throwback Thursday: Black History Month Pioneers
Now for special edition -- a throwback Thursday honoring black history this morning we look back at black artists who hadn't made not only valuable contributions to their community but whose talent and -- served as a catalyst for change from pop culture to advancing the evolution of modern American society and in the realm of television perhaps no one -- done all of that and more. The Bill Cosby 1984 -- launched one of the most successful sitcoms in television history. Breaking nearly every black stereotype and introducing America to an integrated black culture that -- -- even know existed. I'm not serving doctor huckster a -- OK I think it goes on and restaurant. Not to bring him a cup of coffee just like he bought me a cup of coffee this morning and that young man is what marriage is made of it is give and take 5050 and -- get it together. And drop these macho attitudes you inevitably -- anybody bring you anything anywhere anyplace it's an. But it's integration -- a hard fought victory with a battle being waged nearly seventy years earlier. But what of entertainment's most prominent black pioneers actress Hattie McDaniel was the first African American to win an Academy Award for her role of mammy in gone with the wind in 1939. That Daniel has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contributions in both film and radio. 1963 actor -- TA became the first African American to win a best actor Oscar for his role in lilies of the field. -- pushed the envelope even further four years later. And in 1967 when he starred in three successful films to sir with love. In the heat of the night and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner in 1999 the American film student input TA among the greatest male stars of -- time. -- crossing both entertainment and cultural barriers was choreographer and activist Alvin -- Bailey -- the Alvin Ailey American dance theater here in New York City. His company was dubbed -- cultural ambassador to the world and is credited with integrating African culture into popular American down. -- Korea graphic masterpiece revelations is believed to be the best known modern dance performance. What a black America's more modern movers and shakers if -- right. Ryan is a screenwriter director and producer best known for creating the ABC -- show Grey's Anatomy and its spinoff private practice rhymes also developed the ABC hit drama series scandal in 2007 rhymes was named one of time magazine's. 100 people who helped shape the world. -- -- the world of music and a man who for more than half a century of shape and influence virtually everything we hear on the radio producer and songwriter Barry Gordy changed the world in 1959. When he founded at the Motown record label as well as its many subsidiaries. In 1957 Gordy discovered the miracles and his portfolio of talent. Just started billing from there. Don't you. And perhaps one of very Ortiz most significant musical discoveries the Jackson 5 hitting the scene in 1960 floor -- it didn't take long before young Michael Jackson took the spotlight. And launched into super stardom. And so many integrates not to be forgotten -- well.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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