Founded by historian Carter G. Woodson, black history week was first celebrated on Feb. 1926. The 2024 Black History Month theme is African Americans and the Arts

Black History Month: Black Excellences, Achievements, and Surprises

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As Black History Month comes to an end, we reflect on the lessons and messages of Black Resistance that were highlighted in February. The celebration of African and Black diaspora figures, their accomplishments, and the idea of “Black Resistance” served as a reminder of the importance of honoring and recognizing the achievements of people of color.

This February, we saw a number of inspiring moments, from Beyoncé, becoming the most decorated artist in Grammy history, to Rihanna’s surprise announcement of her second pregnancy. We also highlighted a number of key figures, such as Tems, who became the first Nigerian woman to win a Grammy, and other African and Black diaspora figures whose achievements should be uplifted and celebrated.

As we move forward, it is important to continue to honor and recognize the accomplishments of people of color. Black History Month should be more than just a month-long celebration, but rather a reminder that we must honor and uplift the voices of Black and African diaspora people year-round. We must continue to celebrate Black excellence and resist racism and oppression in all its forms.

It was a historic moment for Nigerians as they watched the Grammys, seeing Nigerian artist Tems win her first Grammy in the genre of “Best Melodic Rap Performance”. Nigerians have won in the past, but Tems marks to receive a grammy because she is fully Nigerian. Some  Nigerians who have won Grammys in the past were Sade Adu and Cynthia Erivo, both British Nigerians.

Legendary music artist and singer Rihanna is making her first appearance in front of a crowd after 6 years. Rihanna performed at the super bowl on February 12th as a part of the annual halftime show. While she was performing she also revealed that she have a second child on the way.

Beyonce kicked off Black History Month by announcing she will be touring in 2023 and providing tour dates. The superstar went ahead and break the record for the most all-time Grammy wins. 

On February 7, Lebron James made history in the NBA. Lebron James is now the title holder for the biggest scoring record in NBA history. Since Lebron James’ Debut into the NBA in the 2003-04 season, James has strived and worked towards the standard and original set that was created by Jabbar in 1984. 

Halle Bailey put the internet in an uproar when everyone found out that she was the lead actress in Little Mermaid. Starring as Ariel, It only took a minute and a half for the internet to be ablaze with young black girls’ joy at seeing themselves reflected in a Disney princess with brown skin and long locks.

Chinenye Ogwumike became the first Black Woman to host her own radio show on ESPN, and actively covers the NBA, WNBA, and a variety of other sports for the network. Chinenye Ogwumike joined ESPN in 2015 as an analyst for women’s basketball. 

Viola  Davis has achieved the rare and elite EGOT status after winning a grammy award for the audiobook of her memoir “Finding Me” she becomes the 18th person to win an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award (EGOT). Viola is also the third Black Woman to achieve EGOT status.

Wes Moore was sworn in as Maryland’s governor and became the first Black Governor of Maryland and only the third one ever in American history. On the road to becoming governor, Moore had already made many accomplishments in the past few years despite being raised by a single mother.

Trevor Noah an African-born comedian, writer, producer, political, commentator, actor, and former television host, has worked his way up and achieved a lot of Accomplishments. He was best known as the host (2015-22) of the American television series The Daily Show. Trevor is now the fourth-highest-paid stand-up comedian.

Dorothy Height is an African American Civil rights and women’s rights Activist. Height subsequently used her position to call on the black community to make itself more independent. Height also served as a social services expert on local, state, and federal government committees concerned with women’s issues. 

Ethel was a blues singer and actress who was the first African American to star in her own television show and to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award. She was a devoted advocate for actors’ rights and served as such in her positions on the executive council of Actors Equity and the Negro Actors Guild of America. During World War II, she was part of the Hollywood Victory Committee and sang on the radio for the USO camp shows.

Michelle Obama is an American attorney and author who served as First Lady of the United States from 2009-2017. As first lady, Michelle served as a role model for women and worked as an advocate for poverty awareness, education, nutrition, physical activity, and healthy eating. She supported American designers and was considered a fashion icon. She sold over six million books, not just to the Black community, but primarily to mainstream America.

Shirley Chisholm was the first African American woman in congress (1968) and the first African American woman to seek nomination for president of the United States from one of the two major political parties (1972). In 1964, Chisholm ran and became the second African American in the New York State Legislature. 

Marvin Gaye is an R&B and Soul Singer who employed urban soul music to express social and personal concerns, as well was a singer of exquisite sensitivity and romantic grace, Gaye left a legacy that has widened since his demise. His music has become a permanent fixture in American pop.

Simone Biles is a Gymnast Biles is the gymnast with the most World medals (25) and most World gold medals (19), having surpassed Vitaly Scherbo‘s record 23 World medals by winning her 24th and 25th, both gold, at the 2019 competition in Stuttgart.[8] She is the female gymnast with the most World all-around titles (5).

Maya Angelou was an African American memoirist, popular poet, civil rights activist, dancer, singer, and scholar. As the first nonfiction bestseller by An African American woman, she made literary history. During her career, Angelou received several awards including two NAACP image awards in 2005 and 2009 for her best nonfiction work.

Prince was an American Siner-songwriter, Musician, and Record producer. Prince has sold over 100 million records globally throughout his career and has earned 8 Grammy Awards. He was also known for his musical ability to play multiple instruments. Prince’s band was known as the Revolution. 

Antonio Madrigal is a major character in Disney’s 2021 animated feature film Encanto. In 2022, a clip went viral of Kenzo, a 2-year-old reaction to the movie “Encanto”. He was surprised to see “Himself” in a Disney movie. The youngest of the Madrigal family, Antonio is shy with a huge heart.

Oprah Winfrey is a talk show host, media executive, actress, and billionaire philanthropist. Oprah has received the most prestigious awards and the highest industry acknowledgments. In 2013 Oprah receives recipient of the presidential medal of freedom and in 2012 she also receives the Spelman College National Community service Award.

Serena Williams is considered to be one of the greatest women’s tennis players of all time. She became the first African-American woman since Althea Gibson in 1958 to win a Grand Slam singles title.


Written By: Karesha Graham

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