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Black Hollywood represented on the red carpet at the 24th annual Thurgood Marshall College Fund Anniversary Dinner, held at the Sheraton Hotel in New York City. Blair Underwood, Cuba Gooding Jr., Lamman Rucker (“Meet The Browns”), Russell Simmons, and Rockmond Dunbar were among the celebrity attendees lending their star power to the annual event.

Cuba Gooding Jr., who stars as Lt. Emmanuelle Stance in the upcoming George Lucas produced Red Tails shared his experiences visiting prisons throughout the country. “We need to understand we have worth as black people, especially our black men.” Gooding also pointed out that a lack of black history in the American education system deprives young black children of positive role models, like The Tuskegee Airmen.

When asked about taking on the iconic role of Stanley Kowalski (made famous by Marlon Brando) in next year’s Broadway revival of “A Streetcar Named Desire”, Blair Underwood replied ” The key is not to copy Brando, but in reading the script and finding your own truth.”

Rockmond Dunbar, who just wrapped up Season 4 of the F/X hit drama “Sons of Anarchy” shared his excitement about playing shady Sheriff Eli Roosevelt. “It’s a great character, very 3 dimensional–great nemesis for the boys.”

The Thurgood Marshall College Fund, founded by Dr. N. Joyce Payne, raises funds for students wishing to attend one of the 38 historically black public colleges and universities.