UPDATED: 6:00 a.m. ET, Feb. 1, 2021:
One of the great things about Black history is that it continues to be made on a daily basis by the average person in ways that are not immediately apparent. But it is also being made by some of the most prominent African Americans who have shared their talents, gifts and generosity with the masses in order to make the world, and country, a better place.
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In no order, below are five examples of prominent African Americans who are making Black history by continuously breaking barriers that were put in place by restrictive and discriminatory laws and policies decidedly meant to advance non-Black folks.
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Making Black history is all but synonymous with Kamala Harris’ career, which continued in momentous fashion just a few weeks ago when she became the first Black woman to be sworn-in as United States Vice President. While Harris stands on the shoulders of the many, many Black women political pioneers who came before her — people who she paid tribute to during her speech accepting the Democratic nomination to be Joe Biden’s running mate — she has used that momentum to confront persistent racial inequities and barriers that she smashed through to put herself in a position to possibly become the first Black President of the United States.
This young woman who also happens to be the most decorated gymnast to ever live just can’t stop winning. On top of that, she has been excelling in a sport that is typically associated with white people. Fresh off of being selected as the 2019 Team USA Olympic Female Athlete of the Year, Biles has said she wants to use her platform in sports to inspire and empower women and girls to be unapologetic about their greatness.
2020 👀👀👀 ? pic.twitter.com/3QDjSOPYbH
— Simone Biles (@Simone_Biles) February 3, 2020
“It’s important to teach our female youth that it’s OK to say, ‘Yes, I am good at this,’ and you don’t hold back,” she said in an interview with USA Today. “You only see the men doing it. And they’re praised for it and the women are looked down upon for it. But I feel like it’s good to do because once you realize you’re confident and good at it, then you’re even better at what you do.”
With one fell swoop, this ultra-wealthy and successful philanthropist, chemical engineer and investment banker eliminated the student loan debt for the entire 2019 graduating class of Morehouse College and vowed to pay off the student loan debt for their parents, as well. It was one amazing gesture that likely (hopefully?) will challenge other people in situations similar to his to do the same, seeing as studies have shown that the disparity in student loan debt lopsidedly adversely affects Black students more than anyone else.
The rapper-turned “business, man,” might be getting some negative press for teaming up with the same NFL that is accused of blacklisting a certain quarterback for protesting police violence against Black people, but a closer look at his moves as of late reveal there is a genius method to his madness. Never mind the fact that he’s a newly crowned billionaire, he and his Roc Nation management company have already established itself outside of entertainment as a bastion of civil rights.
The award-winning filmmaker and TV producer seems to have her hands in just about every pot in the entertainment industry, a business sector that has typically relegated Black talent to being in front of the camera, not behind it. Her efforts have allowed more diverse stories to be told and has contributed to breaking down racial barriers as Hollywood slowly begins to follow in her footsteps.
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Vintage Photos Of Black History Being Made In America
1. Harriet TubmanSource:Getty 1 of 40
2. Martin Luther King and civil rights leadersSource:Getty 2 of 40
3. Black PanthersSource:Getty 3 of 40
4. Tuskeegee AirmenSource:Getty 4 of 40
5. Books Are Weapons PosterSource:Getty 5 of 40
6. World War II 93rd InfantrySource:Getty 6 of 40
7. Rosa ParksSource:Getty 7 of 40
8. Integrated Classroom in North CarolinaSource:Getty 8 of 40
9. African American Students Enter High School with Military EscortSource:Getty 9 of 40
10. Lunchcounter Protest in VirginiaSource:Getty 10 of 40
11. Harry Belafonte Leads Civil Rights RallySource:Getty 11 of 40
12. Malcolm X's FuneralSource:Getty 12 of 40
13. Martin Luther King's FuneralSource:Getty 13 of 40
14. Lynching Victim Hanging Above CrowdSource:Getty 14 of 40
15. W.E.B. DuBoisSource:Getty 15 of 40
16. Booker T. WashingtonSource:Getty 16 of 40
17. The 369th, 15th New York who won the Croix de Guerre for GallantrySource:Getty 17 of 40
18. Mutilated Corpse of Claude NealSource:Getty 18 of 40
19. Segregated FountainSource:Getty 19 of 40
20. Womens Defense Corp of AmericaSource:Getty 20 of 40
21. Crowd Waiting to Enter Supreme CourtSource:Getty 21 of 40
22. Black Students Integrate Little Rock's Central High SchoolSource:Getty 22 of 40
23. Troops Watch as Black Students Go to SchoolSource:Getty 23 of 40
24. Segregated RestroomsSource:Getty 24 of 40
25. Portrait Of Medgar EversSource:Getty 25 of 40
26. Separate Waiting RoomSource:Getty 26 of 40
27. Race riots in Birmingham, Alabama.Source:Getty 27 of 40
28. A White Man Bars African-Americans From RestaurantSource:Getty 28 of 40
29. Myrlie Evers Speaking at MicrophoneSource:Getty 29 of 40
30. A Young MarcherSource:Getty 30 of 40
31. Civil Rights FightersSource:Getty 31 of 40
32. Elijah MuhammadSource:Getty 32 of 40
33. Anti Segregation In The Southern Stores March At Broadway In New YorkSource:Getty 33 of 40
34. Selma to Montgomery MarchSource:Getty 34 of 40
35. Selma to Montgomery MarchSource:Getty 35 of 40
36. Soldiers at Civil Rights ProtestSource:Getty 36 of 40
37. Luther King's FuneralSource:Getty 37 of 40
38. Coretta Scott KingSource:Getty 38 of 40
39. 'Kidnapped' Poster At Black Panther RallySource:Getty 39 of 40
40. 'Right On!' Black Power ButtonSource:Getty 40 of 40
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Prominent African Americans Making Black History By Continuously Break Barriers was originally published on newsone.com