( The Root ) -- When actress Alfre Woodard recently traveled to Charlotte, N.C., to announce a cybersummit at Johnson C. Smith University that will coincide with the Democratic National Convention in September, it was just another step in a lifetime of political activism. "I started walking the precincts with my parents when I was 10 years old," she said. Woodard is a native of Tulsa, Okla., a city rich in its history of African-American achievement and infamous for a 1921 racially motivated riot when whites burned the city's wealthy "Negro Wall Street" to the ground.

Stage actress Alfre Woodard. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

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