Yesterday one of my Facebook friends expressed his frustration regarding the fact that so many black people did not know their history. Sure they know Barack Obama is the first black president, and they know Oprah, Jay Z, Michael Jordan and Will Smith, but they don’t know the people that went against all odds to secure the kind of life that so many of us take for granted. So today I decided to post a list influential black people. I invite you to look at the list and just see who you know among these people who influenced our history. Fannie Lou Hamer, John Lewis, Marian Anderson, Thurgood Marshall, Ralph Abernathy, Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, Nikki Giovanni, James Weldon Johnson, Frederick Douglass, James Baldwin, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Harold Washington, Carl Stokes, George Washington Carver, Bayard Rustin, Ernest Withers, Emmett Till, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, John Johnson, Ralph Bunch, Roy Wilkins, Malcom X, Jackie Robinson, Sammy Davis Jr., Shirley Chisholm, Benjamin Oliver Davis, Patricia Roberts Harris, Eric Holder, Barbara Jordan, Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Hiram Revels, Jim Brown and Douglass Wilder. So who do you know? If there is a name you don’t recognize look it up. Remember those who forget their history are doomed to repeat it.
NOTABLE ADDITIONS: General Colin Powell, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, Booker T. Washington and Earl Graves.