Black history month was created for us to celebrate the accomplishments, achievements, and contributions of Black people to society. In school during the short lessons of Black History month, we learn about the pioneers of Black History. We all know about Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and Malcolm X. We know of the tragic stories of slavery and Emmitt Till, but we rarely get to mention the Black people of today who are contributing to modern society. Black history isn't just what happens in the past. History is made around us every day and we have young Black people that are contributing to the history and continuing to fight the same fights that the leaders of the past did. This Black History Month #YoungAndAmbitious wants to shout out 3 modern day heroes of Black History.
Colin Kaepernick - Back in 2016, NFL quarterback Colin Lap gained national attention after he began kneeling during the Nation Anthem before the games. This was met with a lot of backlash from fans and people across the NFL. They said that Kap's refusal to stand for the National Anthem was offensive to this country and the men and women who serve this country in the military. Many times, Kap reassured people that the reason he decided to kneel during the anthem was NOT in protest of the anthem but of the unfair treatment of Black & Brown people across this county by law enforcement. After the 2016 season, Kap was cut from his team, the San Fran 49ers and to this day he has yet to be signed by another team. Colin is a hero because he chose to sacrifice his career to fight for what he believes in. He consistently stands up and sparks conversations about injustice and ways that these issues can be fixed. Since his removal from the NFL, he has donated over $1million to charitable organizations that help people fight oppression and are committed to education and social activism.
2. Yara Shahidi - This young actor who is most known for her role as Zoey Johnson on Black-ish and Grown-ish is yet another member of the black and brown community who uses her platform to educate. Last year, Yara started an organization called Eighteen x 18, that was aimed at getting young people of voting age interested in the voting process and encouraging them to understand their rights and get out and vote. Yara spent a good majority of the political season last year promoting voter registration and helping spread the message of how important it is to exercise your right to vote. She even teamed up with Now This for a campaign that broke down everything about voting like, why we vote, the different type of elections, the purpose of the elections and so much more. She is a voice for the younger generation.
3. Ryan Coogler is the mastermind behind some of the best movies ever… Fruitvale Station (The story of Oscar Grant), Creed 1 & 2 and one of the best movie of 2018, Black Panther. But with Black Panther, he broke many records including grossing over $1 billion internationally in tickets sales only 26 days after its release. It quickly became one of the highest selling and most popular Marvel movies of all time and it definitely had something to do with the representation. For the first time, there was a black superhero. And the women in the movie were not just the wives and the support system, but they were the creators, the protectors, the defenders and the brains of a lot of what went on in Wakanda. This movie had people all over greeting each other with the hands crossed greeting saying “Wakanda Forever” and anybody that saw the movie wished that Wakanda was a real place. Ryan has solidified himself as one of the best directors in recent times and he continues to make powerful movies that had incredible stories and purpose. Rumor has it that he is in the process of preparing to bring us a sequel to Black Panther as well as a movie about Fred Hampton from the Black Panther Political party.
Listen to this weeks episode of the #YoungAndAmbitious Podcast. We discussed the history of Black History Month, the infamous Gucci sweater and the 3 modern day Black History heroes from above.