Historical African American Figures

Martin Luther King

Martin Luther King was a crucial figure in the emergence of the Civil Rights Movement. He helped to organise the Great March on Washington, which advocated for the equality of black Americans. In 1964 the Baptist minister won the Nobel Peace Prize.

King was sadly assassinated in 1968. His death galvanised the country and some claim that it helped to speed up the process of equal rights. Half a century later, US citizens are still enjoying the benefits of King’s sacrifice and work.

Barack Obama

In 2009 Barack Obama became the first ever African American president. His term of office would not end until 2017. He helped to launch a number of liberal policies throughout the country. This included universal health care.

Despite no longer being in office, Obama continues to be a popular figure amongst the public. He is considered one of the greatest presidents of all time. He and his wife Michelle are still active and vocal in the political sphere.

Mohammed Ali

Ali was one of the most successful boxers of the 20th century. He is most famously remembered for the Rumble in the Jungle of 1974. During this fight he competed against George Foreman.

Ali lived to see the internet age. It is astounding to think that a figure so tied to the 1960’s would also survive to see the emergence of online services such as movon.com. The latter is a medical app that provides healthcare online. Ali used modern technology like this for a number of philanthropy endeavours.

Jesse Owens

Jesse Owens made the headlines during the 1936 Olympics. This African American athlete specialised in the long jump and sprinting. In track and field sports he is often cited as the very best.

The 1936 Olympics was attended by the dictator Adolph Hitler. During the games Owens won four gold medals. This helped to dispel the Nazi myth of white genetic supremacy. Today it is seen as a great victory for humanity.

Malcolm X

Malcolm X was active in the Civil Rights Movement at the same time as Martin Luther King. However, X is considered a much more controversial figure. He was an extreme proponent of racism in America and an influential person during this period.

Like Martin Luther King, X was also the victim of an assassination plot. He is remembered for being a proponent of black self defence, self determination and anti-racism. A film was later made about his life directed by Spike Lee.

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson is considered one of the greatest musicians that ever lived. He had a string of best selling albums during the 1980’s. One of his greatest hits, Thriller was extremely influential to popular culture.

Jackson mixed modern music with urban dance moves. He has been dubbed the King of Pop by his adoring fans. His music continues to be enjoyed by millions of people worldwide.