Welcome to Part 2 of my list of 44 in Black History. This list will feature many of my favorites from the world of sports and movies. This list is my homage to our President, but also the countless blacks who have broken down barriers and made being black beautiful and something to be proud to be.
#34- Joe Louis– For one hundred forty months from 1937 to 1949, he held the heavyweight championship. He was known as the first black national hero.
#33- Hattie McDaniel– She won an Oscar in 1940 and was the first black person to win the award in any category.
#32- Sidney Poitier– Before Denzel and before Michael B Jordan, he existed. Poitier changed the narrative, and he ushered in the era of black leading men on the screen.
#31- Tommie Smith and John Carlos– Before the kneel, there was the fist. It was a simple gesture with a lasting impact. On the 1968 Olympic stage, Black Power overshadowed the Star-Spangled Banner. The gesture became the most iconic photo in sports.
#30- Will Smith– He is the Fresh Prince and the Man in Black. He lived the dream. He is a rapper and an actor and excelled at both. He was nominated for both an Oscar and a Grammy.
#29- Jesse Owens– He was universally known as the greatest track and field athlete of all time, black or white.
#28- Muhammad Ali– “Float Like a Butterfly Sting Like a Bee.” You cannot mention boxing without mentioning his name. His impact was bigger than boxing. He stood up and sacrificed. He was the first WOKE athlete.
#27- Halle Berry- Besides being my crush, she is a phenomenal actress. She also is the first African American Women to win an Academy Award for Actress in a leading role.
#26- Denzel Washington– The opening line to his acceptance speech was, “Two birds with one stone.” Not since Sidney Poitier had a black man won an Oscar for a leading role. He is the greatest actor of our generation. Nothing like a great
#25- Michael Jordan– The GOAT. He is the unquestionable greatest basketball player of all time. Also, name someone who has never worn a pair of his shoes. “It’s gotta be the shoes.”
#24- Benjamin Banneker– This astronomer, clockmaker, and publisher was able to make calculations to predict solar and lunar eclipses. He used those calculations to compile his Almanac that was named the Benjamín Banneker’s Almanac.
#23- Nat Turner– Nat Turner was a slave who led the only effective, sustained slave rebellion in the history of the country.
Be on the lookout for my list of 22-11.