125+ Black History Making Pathfinders You Should Know

As Black History Month 2020 draws to a close we want to encourage you to continue learning more about all the ways African-Americans have helped shape America and the world as we know it today. We have posted 28 extensive profiles on our blog, but those people are just the tip of the iceberg. One month is not enough to share about all the ways Americans from the African diaspora have shaped the world and charted new paths forward. Here are more Black History making African-Americans you can research:

  1. Bobby Seale – Co-founder of The Black Panther Party
  2. Huey P. Newton – Co-founder of The Black Panther Party
  3. Angela Davis – Political activist, author and philosopher
  4. E.D. Nixon – Key organizer of Montgomery Bus Boycott
  5. Claudette Colvin – Civil rights activist
  6. Zora Neale Hurston – Novelist, Writer
  7. Aurelia Shines Browder Coleman – Civil rights activist
  8. Buddy Bolden – Credited as the man who “invented Jazz”
  9. Louis Armstrong – Perfected the Jazz solo
  10. Ella Baker – Civil Rights Activist
  11. Frederick Douglass – Abolitionist, Author
  12. Josephine Baker – Entertainer, Civil rights activist
  13. Lena Horne – Civil rights activist who changed the way black women were represented in film
  14. Daisy Bates – Civil rights activist who played a leading role in documenting the Little Rock Integration in 1957
  15. Afeni Shakur – Political and social activist
  16. Voletta Wallace – Business Executive, producer, author
  17. Elaine Brown – prison activist, writer, singer, and former Black Panther Party chairwoman
  18. Fannie Lou Hamer
  19. Ralph Abernathy
  20. Daisy Bates
  21. Sidney Poitier
  22. Harry Belafonte
  23. Roscoe Dunjee
  24. Robert Sengstacke Abbott – Pioneer of Black press
  25. Maxine Waters
  26. Michelle Obama – First black FLOTUS
  27. Maya Angelou – Poet, Activist
  28. Benjamin Banneker
  29. Madam CJ Walker – First Black Female Millionaire
  30. Harriet Tubman – Head conductor of the underground railroad
  31. Oprah Winfrey
  32. Booker T. Washington
  33. W.E.B. Dubois – Sociologist, writer, activist
  34. Ella Fitzgerald
  35. Cicely Tyson – Legendary actress and first to receive an honorary Oscar
  36. Diahann Carroll
  37. Josephine Baker
  38. Eartha Kitt
  39. Naomi Sims
  40. Marie Van Britton Brown
  41. Vanessa Williams – First Black Miss America
  42. Dr. Ruth J. Simmons
  43. Aretha Franklin – Queen of Soul
  44. Sheila Johnson
  45. Whitney Houston – The Voice
  46. Marian Wright Edelman
  47. Viola Davis
  48. Serena Williams – The Greatest Athlete of All Time
  49. Venus Williams
  50. Sammy Davis Jr.
  51. Hattie McDaniel
  52. Joyce Bryant
  53. Ruby Dee
  54. Frederick Mckinley Jones
  55. Otis Boykin
  56. Granville Woods
  57. Lonnie Johnson
  58. George Washington Carver
  59. Garrett Morgan
  60. Marie Van Brittan Brown
  61. Thomas L Jennings
  62. Sarah Boone
  63. Alexander Miles
  64. Jan Ernst Matzeliger
  65. Sarah E. Goode
  66. Percy Lavon Julian
  67. Norbert Rillieux
  68. James Edward Maceo West
  69. Philip B. Downing
  70. Duke Ellington – Pivotal player in the evolution of Jazz
  71. Alfred L. Cralle
  72. Henry Blair
  73. Mark Dean
  74. Ben Montgomery
  75. Richard Spikes
  76. Samuel R. Scottron
  77. George Edward Alcorn Jr.
  78. Marjorie Joyner
  79. Leonard C. Bailey
  80. Janet Emerson Bashen
  81. Lloyd Hall
  82. George Robert Carruthers
  83. Alice H. Parker
  84. Andrew Jackson Beard
  85. Emmett Till
  86. Bessie Blount Griffin
  87. Joseph Winters
  88. Miriam Benjamin
  89. Judy W. Reed
  90. Jesse Russell
  91. William Wells Brown
  92. Josiah Henson
  93. Toni Morrison
  94. Ava Duvernay
  95. Harriet Jacobs
  96. Nat Turner
  97. Dred Scott
  98. Beyonce Giselle Knowles-Carter – International Entertainment Icon
  99. Sojourner Truth
  100. Peter Still
  101. Margaret Garner
  102. Samuel Burris
  103. Anthony Burns
  104. Denmark Vesey
  105. William Still
  106. Harriet E. Wilson
  107. Gertrude Rainey
  108. Oprah Winfrey
  109. Martin Robinson Delany
  110. Marian Wright Edelman
  111. Halle Berry
  112. Sheila Johnson
  113. Janice Bryant Howroyd
  114. Althea Gibson
  115. Ida B. Wells
  116. Lisa Price
  117. Nina Simone
  118. Misty Copeland
  119. Fannie Lou Hamer
  120. Billie Holiday
  121. Susan Rice
  122. Faye Wattleton
  123. Prince Robinson
  124. O.B. Armstrong
  125. Lena Waithe
  126. Ryan Coogler
  127. Richard Pryor
  128. Muhammad Ali – Boxer, Activist
  129. Alvin Ailey – Founded the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater
  130. James Baldwin – Novelist, Playwright
  131. Jean-Michel Basquiat – Artist
  132. Mary Mcleod Bethune – Civil Rights Activist, Educator
  133. Benjamin O. Davis Sr. – First African American General for the US Army
  134. Dr. Charles Drew – Leading authority on blood transfusions and storage

African-Americans have overcome racism, bigotry, generational trauma, Jim Crow laws, disenfranchisement and so much more. As a people on American soil they have made the best use of their resources, taken advantage of opportunities and helped improve the quality of life of people around the world. As a people we are brilliant, beautiful, dynamic, talented and unique. African-American history is American history.