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Enjoy Life Magazine

Lifestyles, Entertainment & Inspiration

Black History Reflections

By Lia Dickerson
Published February 12, 2020

Jackie Robinson is truly one of the most influential African American athletes in history as he successfully challenged and helped end Jim Crow laws. He was one of the first African Americans to publicly represent the black community and did so flawlessly, making it known that black men were just as capable of exuding dignity, leadership, and self discipline. After being signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1945, he paved the way for African Americans in sports and ultimately integrated baseball. This caused a domino effect leading to the integration of football, basketball, and many other sports. This occurrence even pushed the military to integrate its units. Despite the struggles he faced throughout his journey, Jackie Robinson made a way for himself and truly gave black people a chance in the sports industry and his legacy will forever live on.

  1. Serena Williams

Serena Williams has been referred to as one of the greatest athletes in history, rightfully so. She has broken world records as the winner of 23 Grand Slam titles, four Olympic gold medals, seven Wimbledon titles, six U.S. Opens, and the list goes on. Growing up in a rough neighborhood in Compton, California with her four sisters, she developed a spirit of determination which stuck with her through her adult years. Her father trained her and her sister Venus to be the best tennis players they could possibly be, practicing for hours often on concrete and without nets. Despite her struggles facing discrimination and criticism playing a formerly Caucasian sport, she proved her right to have a spot in the game by working hard and pouring her passion into the sport, every time she played. Her energetic style on the court caught the attention of fans of the sport from all backgrounds worldwide. On top of being a tennis champion, mother, and wife, she has also partnered with Nike and eventually started her own clothing line. She has served as a positive representation of the African American community in the sports industry and a huge inspiration to women.

Barack Obama

Barack Obama inspired and touched the hearts of millions, making history as the first African American President of the United States when he won the election in 2008. Although he had a small support system when he announced his candidacy as a senator with just seven years of experience in the Illinois Senate, his campaign slogan, “Yes We Can” became a huge movement and quickly gained following.

The amount of people gathered to witness the inaugural ceremony on January 20th, 2009 was record-breaking.

His even-tempered and intellectual demeanor made him perfectly fit for the position he served his two terms of presidency eloquently. He set a great example by getting the Great Recession under control and executing an effective heath care program. He made a point of helping everyone in need and making a positive change in society. Barack Obama will always be truly honored as America’s 44th president.

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey is a woman of many talents. She is a media mogul, humanitarian, philanthropist, actress, talk show host, musical and television producer, and ultimately a huge icon among the African-American community. She has produced six different films and played Sofia in the famously known screenplay, The Color Purple. She has starred in fifteen movies over the years alongside being the host of her talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, which ran from 1986 to 2011.

Although she was born into rural poverty in Kosciusko, Mississippi, she worked her way to the top and was named the wealthiest African American of the 20th century.

In 2004 she joined the Forbes list of American billionaires, making her the only female on the list at the time. She is founder and CEO of the Oprah Winfrey Network. She also has her own magazine and has published several books. One of the most inspirational and giving things she’s done in her life was the development and funding of all-girls school in South Africa, the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls. Recently, she paid off the tuition of over 400 students at Morehouse College. She is internationally known for her humanitarian efforts and her overall giving spirit. Her story is motivational for millions of women across the world.

About the contributor

Lia Dickerson is a Social Media Intern at Enjoy Life Magazine and Senior at Kennesaw State University pursuing a degree in sociology.