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Highlighting the Impact: Young Leaders in Black History

During Black History Month, we are used to hearing about the history of Black people that dates back to the civil rights era. We read about the inventions, the activists, and the politicians but do we realize that Black History is being made every day? The historic accomplishments of Black people aren’t just those that were made by our elders and ancestors, but our youth and members of this generation are also making history. We’ve compiled a list of some incredible history makers of today who deserve to have their names mentioned in the history books as well. 

Twitch streamer Kai Cenat

1.Kai Cenat 

Kai Cenat has taken the streaming and content creation world by storm and is breaking records and making history in the process. At age 21, the New York native has become the first Black streamer to amass over 300,000 subscribers on the platform. The content creator began his creation journey at 16 years old on YouTube making vlogs, prank videos, and doing internet challenges for his 5000 followers. In 2021 he transferred over to Twitch, a platform that was mostly used for live streaming video games. Back in 2023, he held the record for the most subscribed steamer on the platform for some time. During his streams, he hosts celebrities and other internet stars in his room to have conversations, play video games, and just hang out. He has had some of the biggest stars in his room for a lot of viral moments. Most recently, he became the first steamer to have a partnership with Nike. He announced the venture before playing in the NBA All-Star Celebrity Basketball game in Indiana this year. No word on what his partnership will look like, but Kai has knocked down a barrier for creatives in the streaming space. 

Shania Muhammad, a 16 year old teacher in Oklahoma

2. Shania Muhammad 

At the tender age of 16, Shania Muhammad is the youngest full-time salaried teacher in the United States of America. She currently serves as a 3rd-grade teacher at a small school in her hometown in Oklahoma. Her father noticed her gift of education and knowledge at a young age. She began studying for the ACT while in 7th grade. By the time she was 14, she had earned 2 associate degrees, 1 from Oklahoma City Community College and the other from Langston University. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in Early Child development from the University of Oklahoma. 

Members of the Fisk University gymnastics team

3. Fisk University Gymnastics

In 2023, Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee became the first HBCU to have a collegiate gymnastics team. The program was announced a year before they began competing and they are coached by Corrinne Tarver. Tarver, who also serves as the school’s athletic director is no stranger to making history herself. She was the first Black gymnast to compete at the University of Georgia and became the first Black gymnast to win the NCAA all-around national title in 1989. Fisk also became the first HBCU to host an NCAA gymnastics competition. 

Toni Harris in her football uniform

4. Antoinette “Toni” Harris 

In 2019, Toni Harris became the first female to receive a football scholarship to a 4-year college to play a non-specialist position. The Detroit native has been playing football for as long as she can remember. She signed her letter of intent committing to Central Methodist University, She received some major deals including an opportunity to star in a Toyota RAV4 Super Bowl commercial. Due to the pandemic, Harris does have 1 more year of collegiate eligibility left over but she has not decided on her return to the collegiate football field. Right now she is working on a master’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Southern California, working as an NFL Ambassador, and does some youth mentoring with young athletes. 

16 year old, Mari Copeny also known as Little Miss Flint

5. Mari Copeny 

Mari Copeny, affectionately known as “Little Miss Flint” is a 16-year-old activist and philanthropist. During the height of the Flint Water Crisis in Flint. Michigan, Mari, who was 8 at the time, wrote a letter to then-President Barack Obama advocating for the people of Flint who were living in a city that did not have safe drinking water. Her letter ultimately helped persuade the President to visit Flint and approve a $100 million relief bill for the city. It’s been 10 years since and Mari is still fighting to get clean water to the people of Flint. Mari has raised over $800,000 and partnered with a filtration company to make water filters for people who need clean and healthy water. She has hosted numerous community events giving back to the people of Flint through school supply drives, food drives, book drives, and more. She has plans to run for President in 2044. 

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