Black History Month is an annual observance in February that celebrates, highlights and pays homage to important people and events in African American history.
Black History Month was first proposed by black educators and the Black United Students at Kent State University in February of 1969. The first celebration of Black History Month took place at Kent State just one year later, in February 1970.
Six years later Black History Month was being celebrated all across the country in educational institutions, centers of Black culture and community centers.
President Gerald Ford first recognized Black History Month, during the celebration of the United States Bicentennial. He was quoted as saying, “Seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”
To celebrate Black History Month here’s our list of Black Celebs To Watch in music, film, television, and Youtube.
Black Celebs To Watch
Donald Glover’s come a long way since his days on the NBC sitcom Community. And even though the 34-year-old’s been in the industry for more than ten years, the father of two’s star power continues to grow and evolve. When Glover’s, a.k.a., Childish Gambino, not keeping us woke and musically in tune with his music, he’s making us laugh in his FX show, Atlanta. The show premiered back in 2016 and was quickly renewed for a second season.Glover made his fans wait more than a year for its return while busy with other projects, but now set to return in March 2018, fans can’t wait to see what Glover has in store next.
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SZA’s recent Grammy snub had fans in an uproar, but the 27-year-old remains in “Ctrl” of her singing career. It was hard not to notice when Solána Imani Rowe gave us that neo-soul we’ve been desperately craving. With many of her songs and lyrics being focused around sexuality, nostalgia, and abandonment, she gave black women a voice on things that were often concealed and not openly expressed, and her music became a safety net of expression for young black women everywhere. As SZA’s star power continues to rise, we can’t wait to see and hear what she comes out with next.
When Spike Lee announced the Netflix series as a reboot of his classic film, She’s Gotta Have It. Some were left wondering if there would be a black actress who could give us a Nola Darling who was as fearless,free-spirited and flawed as authentically as Tracy Camilla Johns did in the 1986 film. Not only has Dewanda Wise gotten praise for her portrayal as the twenty-something artist in the series, Wise’s raw and no-holds-barred approach to portraying Darling was apart of the reason why the series was recently picked up for a second season.
Abraham D. Juste a.k.a. Da’Vinchi
Many are still getting to know exactly who Juste is but the newcomer actor hailing from the East Coast is quickly making a name for himself. Getting his big break opposite Yara Shahidi in the Black-ish spin-off Grown-ish, known professionally as Da’Vinchi, the young actor and love interest of Shahidi has got many young teens and women tuning in every Wednesday night since the show’s premiere.
Perhaps it’s just apart of his DNA, but Sean “Diddy” Comb’s son Christian is letting it be known he’s coming for his famous dad’s crown and ready to take the thrown. The 19-year-old has managed to take after his uber-talented parents. If he isn’t heard spitting bars like his dad, he’s posted up on the runway and working for major fashion designers like Dolce & Gabanna. With more than 1 million followers on Instagram, Combs numbers and celebrity status is definitely projected to rise.
Best Black Youtubers
Jackie Aina has come such a long way, and the former army vet is cashing in and finally reaping the benefits of her Youtube journey. Aina, who recently celebrated having 2 million loyal subscribers, is one of the most vocal black beauty Youtubers to discuss inclusivity and various other issues and struggles to be a black woman in the beauty and makeup industry. The former makeup artist has remained vocal since her channel’s start and addressed several black beauty related issues within the industry including having a lack of variety in color selection for women of color as well as a lack of representation of women of color on Youtube and in the beauty industry. Aina continues to be open about her thoughts and opinions and a voice for women of color within the beauty community.
Shalom Blac is all types of beauty goals. Not only does she represent for darker women of color, the burn victim is unapologetically paving the way for women of color and women with skin deformities. Her videos are talked about and celebrated amongst the black community, and she’s a huge role model to women of color.
The UK 29-year-old makeup artist is a popular Youtube favorite amongst black women. With her modelesque physique, Jenkins’ style, makeup, and hair videos give black women everywhere tons of inspiration to get our lives together and snatch edges daily.
Ellarie is #makeupandmommygoals. The beauty Youtuber shows us that you can slay and still be a successful and nurturing mother at the same time. Not to mention, our hearts completely melt when she features her adorable daughter in her beauty videos.
Before Nyma Tang, representation for the dark skin women of color was dismal. But once Tang started to speak out against the lack of options she had in choosing makeup for her complexion, makeup brands began listening. With her gorgeous coffee-colored skin, Tang’s beauty videos give us serious beauty inspo.
Best Movies With a Black Leading Role
The Cast Of Black Panther
It’s not every day that we get an almost complete cast of A-list black actors and actresses to star in a superhero film. In fact, it’s never been done before. With Black Panther set to release February 16,2018, the highly, highly anticipated superhero film with a predominately black cast is set to make history. With many fans excited for the black representation in this superhero film, with the help of black elite actor and actresses like Lupita Nyong’ o, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker and Michael B. Jordan, The promise of Panther is said to be one for the books.
Taraji P. Henson in Proud Mary
Many are now used to Henson’s portrayal as the no-nonsense matriarch of the Lyon family in Empire. But in 2018, Henson is taking her acting chops back to the big screen and portraying a successful hitwoman working for an organized crime family in the action thriller, Proud Mary. Along with Black Panther, Henson’s portrayal further helps distinguish black actor and actresses and is a considerable takeoff from the stereotypical films and roles blacks have become accustomed to playing.
Best Television Shows With a Black Leading Role
Viola Davis in How To Get Away With Murder
When Shonda Rhimes introduced us to Annalise Keating the no-nonsense prominent criminal defense attorney and law professor in How To Get Away With Murder, we were utterly shaken by Viola Davis’ award-winning portrayal. Week after week Davis continues to give it to us straight- no chaser. With Davis bare faced and wig-less, black women everywhere applauded Davis’s authenticity and openness to show exactly who she was without the glitz and the glam.
Kerry Washington in Scandal
When Kerry Washington debuted as Olivia Pope the self-proclaimed “fixer” of scandals. We all were ready every Thursday with our bottle (sometimes bottles) of wine ready. With her classic and clean fashion sense and take-no-crap-from-anyone boss lady attitude, Washington gives us some serious career and fashion goals week after week as Pope.
The Cast of Queen Sugar
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this…. #Repost @bebeautifulla (@get_repost) ・・・ “She #transforms her own #dark into her own #light. She sees her #private #shadows – and loves them. She meets her #emotional depths – and owns it. She faces private fears of #separation – and rises above the #illusion. She is the source of her #Self and she is always in a state of greater #becoming.” ~Molly McCord, The Modern #Heroine’s Journey of #Consciousness #mollymccord #loveyourself #selfcare #browngirlheal #beauty Muse:@amarairoms 📸:@glennnorwood
Created by Ava DuVernay and with Oprah Winfrey serving as executive producer, Queen Sugar is a American drama series focused on the life of three siblings: two sisters, Nova Bordelon , a journalist & activist from New Orleans and Charley Bordelon a “modern” woman, who, leaves her upscale home in Los Angeles and moves to the heart of Louisiana to claim an inheritance from her recently departed father. Throw in their fine brother Ralph Angel (Kofi Siriboe), a single father struggling with unemployment and Queen Sugar is the black family drama that keeps us tuned in weekly.
The Cast of Greenleaf
Another Oprah Winfrey OWN production, Greenleaf follows the Greenleaf family, their large bed of scandalous lies and secrets and their large Memphis megachurch. Bishop James Greenleaf and Lady Mae Greenleaf are the patriarch and matriarch of the Greenleaf family, and Grace Greenleaf is their estranged daughter who has returned home after 20 years following the mysterious death of her sister, Faith.
Black Lightning is an American superhero television series that airs on The CW. It is based on the DC Comics character of the same name and follows the retired Black Lightning’s return to the hero life and its effects on his family life. With Cress Williams’ portrayal as the retired superhero, Lightning is the first superhero tv series to have a black actor as the lead role.
The Chi is an American drama series created by Lena Waithe life in a particular neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago. Since it’s debut earlier in the year, The Chi was met with critical acclaim and has been described as a show with lots of promise and room for growth.