Celebrating Multicultural Black History

The African Diaspora has been more than crucial to the development of the world as we know it today. Beyond the national economies that were dependent on the transatlantic slave trade, Black people have made valuable contributions to the global fields of education, entertainment, technology, entrepreneurship and so much more!


This Black History Month, we’re celebrating the multicultural diversity within Black history itself by highlighting the different ways Africans have and continue to shape the world in various areas.

African football players



Education is a significant part of the Black diaspora experience because it’s seen as the key to success. It opens doors to a wide range of opportunities that aren’t usually available to the average person and gives us the tools to navigate the world. Scholars like Wole Soyinka have used their talents for the advancement of their countries and the continent. In 1986, the Nigerian author, playwright, and poet became the first sub-Saharan African to receive a Nobel Prize in Literature.


Wangarĩ Maathai, a Kenyan social, environmental, and political activist was the first woman in East and Central Africa to become a Doctor of Philosophy, receiving her Ph.D. from the University of Nairobi in Kenya. In 2004, she became the first African woman and the first environmentalist to win the Nobel Peace Prize for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy, and peace.

Wole Soyinka

Arts & entertainment


Did you know that Wizkid just became the first African artist to sell out The O2? With many other international records, “Starboy” has been instrumental in making Afrobeats and African music global. Likewise, Burna Boy, Davido, and other stars have been building on the work of legends like Fela Kuti and Angélique Kidjo to tell the continent’s stories.


When talking about international African names, Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has to be mentioned. She was named one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2015 and one of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders by Fortune Magazine in 2017. Her work has been translated into over thirty languages.


Actors like Lupita Nyong'o (Kenyan/Mexican) and Daniel Kaluuya (Uganda/England) are more examples of artists pushing the envelope and excelling in their various fields. Born to Nigerian and American parents, Kehinde Wiley is famous for painting President Obama’s official portrait for the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. He is famous for his highly naturalistic paintings of Black people and has worked all over the world. In 2019, Wiley launched Black Rock Senegal, a residency program for multidisciplinary artists in Dakar.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
President Obama’s official portrait for the Smithsonian National Portrait by Kehinde Wiley



Born and raised in Ethiopia, Timnit Gebru is an American computer scientist who focuses on artificial intelligence, specifically algorithmic bias, and data mining. Coming to the U.S. as a teenage refugee, she is an example of someone who has confronted many challenges but pushed through. In 2021, she was named one of the world's 50 great leaders by Fortune for her advocacy on how bias in AI perpetuates inequality. She is the co-founder of Black in AI, a community of black AI researchers, and her work has made her a leading figure in the field of ethical artificial intelligence.

Timnit Gebru



25-year-old Vanessa Nakate is a Ugandan climate activist who raises awareness about the causes and impacts of climate change. From a one-person campaign against climate inaction in Uganda’s parliament, she built a community and founded the Youth for Future Africa and the Rise Up Movement. She was one of the few young people invited to speak at COP25 in Spain and was on Time magazine’s 2021 list of the Next 100 Most Influential People in the World.


The first woman and African to become Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has been a trailblazer in the world of economics. She worked at the World Bank for 20+ years and served as Nigeria’s Finance Minister. Her work ethic and commitment to excellence have continually set her apart and made her a positive representation of Africa.

Vanessa Nakate
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Do you know Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr? She is the first female mayor to lead the city of Freetown, Sierra Leone in decades. She was one of the BBC’s 100 Women of 2020 and was among Time’s 2021 100 Next Most Influential People in the World. Her ambitious vision to transform her city and country shows a belief in a better Africa.



From past icons like Côte d’Ivoire’s Didier Drogba and Cameroon’s Samuel Eto’o to active superstars like Nigeria’s Giannis Antetokounmpo and Egypt’s Mo Salah, Africa continues to be a source of great sports talents with many players having to beat the odds to make it. 


Who was the first Black woman to host a national radio show for ESPN? Chiney Ogwumike, a Nigerian-American! A professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Sparks, she was also the first WNBA player to do so when she broke that record in 2020.

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Whether by keeping people entertained during quarantine like Elsa Majimbo, or bringing joy to millions of people without saying a word like Khaby Lame, Africans contribute to all aspects of life and culture around the world. It’s worth celebrating this BHM!

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