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Activism

Modern Black Achievements

5 minutes read

- Written by Yubo Team

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You’ve probably heard of some of the world’s greatest Black activists including Martin Luther King Jr, Harriet Tubman, Malcolm X, and Frederick Douglas. While it will always be important to recognize these figures and how they’ve changed our world and contributed to the evolution of our humanity, it’s also important to acknowledge the people who are making history today. For this Black History Month, we’re highlighting modern black achievements  to not only acknowledge those who have made history, but to inspire and prove that anyone at any time, can leave their mark. 

What is Black History Month?

Black History Month is a month dedicated to honoring the contributions and sacrifices of Black Americans who helped shape the nation. It’s also a month for celebrating Black Americans, their achievements, their culture, and their legacies. 

Why is Black History Month in February?

February was first officially recognized as Black History month in 1976 by President Gerald Ford. February was chosen because of Carter G Woodson, an American historian and founder of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. Woodson established Negro History Week as a week in February in 1926. He chose this because of both President Lincoln and Frederick Douglas having their birthdays celebrated in February. 

Recognizing Black Changemakers of Today

Kamala Harris: 

The first Black, first Asian American, and first female vice president. Starting her career as a deputy district attorney in California, Harris worked her way to become Attorney General of California, then a member of the U.S. Senate, and finally, in 2021, she was sworn in as the vice president. An achievement that only 48 other Americans have ever experienced and that marks many firsts for this country. 

Lewis Hamilton: 

The first and only Black driver in Formula 1 (F1) racing, and the first Black driver to win the F1 World Driver’s Championship. Not only that, but he also made history by having the F1 record for most career race victories and is tied for the most World Drivers’ Championships. Hamilton eventually created The Hamilton Commission, an organization dedicated to improving Black representation in UK motorsport. 

Dr. Kizzmekia S. Corbett

Harvard Assistant Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Corbett was the lead scientist on the mRNA-1273 vaccine (more regularly known as a part of the Moderna vaccine). At just 35 years old, Dr. Corbett earned a TIME Magazine Hero of the Year designation and has become recognized as a leader in science today. 

Ryan Coogler:

Ryan Coogler is the first Black director of a Marvel film. While this may seem niche, Marvel is the highest-grossing movie franchise of all time with Coogler’s Black Panther being the 18th movie to be released in the franchise. Coogler has since also directed Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and, outside of the Marvel franchise, is notable for directing the Creed movie series as well. Even after 30+ Marvel movies have been released, Black Panther stands as Marvel’s 6th highest grossing film. 

Nia DaCosta:

Nia DaCosta is the first Black female director of a Marvel film with her film, Captain Marvel, being the 21st movie of the Marvel franchise. She will make her return to Marvel with the upcoming The Marvels. DaCosta is also known for directing Candyman

Amanda Gorman:

The first person to be named National Youth Poet Laureate and the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history. Gorman’s work highlights important social and political issues and inspires others to strive for a better future. To quote Gorman, “There is always light. If only we’re brave enough to see it. If we’re only brave enough to be it.”

Simone Biles:

The most decorated gymnast in World Championships history, with a total of 32 World and Olympic medals. She is the first woman to win five world all-around titles, three World balance beam titles, and five World floor exercise titles. Biles even (accidentally) became a mental health advocate for athletes, when she opted out of competing for fear for her safety due to her mental health state in the Tokyo 2020 olympics. 

Ta-Nehisi Coates: 

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a renowned journalist, writer, and author who has been recognized with countless awards for his thought-provoking writing on race and politics in the United States. His nonfiction book, Between The World and Me, urges the discussion of feelings, symbolism, and realities of being Black in the United States. 

Stacey Abrams:

Former Georgia State Representative, Stacey Abrams, is the first Black woman to lead in the Georgia General Assembly. She is a voting rights activist and an author who has won awards for her work on social justice. She founded Fair Fight, an organization promoting fair elections across the United States. 

These individuals represent just a fraction of the many Black individuals who have made significant contributions and achieved notable milestones in the United States in recent years. Their accomplishments in fields ranging from politics to sports, business to science, and art to activism continue to inspire and empower future generations of Americans. These achievements demonstrate the strength, resilience, and impact of Black individuals in the United States today and give us hope for the future. 


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