Black History Month: 6 Influential People who Represent the Black Community | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Black History Month: 6 Influential People who Represent the Black Community

Martin Luther King Jr.

A pivotal figure in the civil rights movement in the 1960s, it was Martin King’s dreamto live in a world free from racial discrimination. He will eternally be remembered for the powerful and emotive speeches he made about overcoming racial barriers and for remaining an advocate for peaceful protest, even in an American society which otherwise sought to silence him, until his death.

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou is best known for redefining the genre of autobiography through her use of autobiographical fiction in ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,’ widely considered to be one of Angelou’s most notable works. Her impassioned defence of black culture and her willingness to openly confront issues of racism, identity and unequal power relations have earned her well-deserved status as one of the literary greats.

Nelson Mandela

Mandela’s life efforts to end apartheid were finally realised after he served a lengthy prison sentence spanning over twenty years. Nelson Mandela will forever be remembered for protecting his ideals freedom and equality at any cost, for the sheer courage he showed during his years of imprisonment and for his willingness to forgive the white community in a post-apartheid South Africa.

Barack Obama

Obama’s two terms in office as the President of the United States represented something far bigger than a successive win for America’s democrats.

The election of America’s first black US President, though not absolving America of its racist history, gave the whole world a reason to feel optimistic

The election of America’s first black US President, though not absolving America of its racist history, gave the whole world a reason to feel optimistic. During his time in office, Obama certainly made true of his promises to create a far more inclusive society where race would no longer be a barrier to accessing resources, through his ‘Obamacare’ reforms.

Oprah Winfrey

Media mogul, Oprah Winfrey, first soar to fame with her infamous chat show, which secured her a very comfortable seat at the table of the world’s most influential media personalities. Aside from becoming the first black female entrepreneur on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, she has used her international status as a platform to promote many liberal causes close to her heart, including LGBTQ+ rights and the promotion of African-American history and culture, remaining a strong figurehead within civil rights activism.

Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks, an integral node of the US civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, is most famous for her influential boycott of racially segregated buses in 1955. She will always be a symbol of courage, bravery and of hope for the civil rights movement, in the ongoing fight to break down racial barriers and ensure black people are fairly represented in the public sphere.

Political Geographer, Aspiring Journalist and Feminist. Interested in politics, but particularly of the Middle East, current affairs and body politics. (@antoniawritesx)



Published

30th October 2018 at 1:00 pm

Last Updated

29th October 2018 at 8:32 pm



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