Just happened upon this wikipedia article about Paul Robeson who, it turns out, was an athlete, singer, actor and political activist and very prominent in each of those fields, thanks largely to being an incredible genius (he was fluent in at least 12 languages, for instance. And in the College Football Hall of Fame). He was also the son of an escaped slave who became a minister. And under constant surveillance for years thanks to his support of socialism and his ties to the USSR before and during the Cold War. Quite a remarkable story.