African Americans have undoubtedly played a central role in shaping American history. From slavery to the Great Migration, to the Civil Rights movement, to cultural and political achievements, our historic milestones, key figures, and events have made all the difference to our overall advancement.

It’s so important for all of us to understand the history of where we are, and how we got here. And that must include African American’s contributions from history to the present. It’s not about creating a separate history; —but rather adding to the history we are already familiar with. It’s a story well worth knowing.

This year, HBCU Buzz is proud to launch our Black History Month 29 campaign. Remembering and celebrating 29 days of Black culture and history in the last decade. Starting now, we hope you join us as we look back at 14 Black history moments of today.

Happy Black History Month!!!

14 Black History Moments of Today

  1. Obama’s First Election (2008)

Barack Obama defeats Republican John McCain to become the 44th US president, and the first black person to hold the office. 

Obama won a decisive victory over McCain, winning the Electoral College and the popular vote by a sizable margin, including states that had not voted for the Democratic presidential candidate since 1976 (North Carolina) and 1964 (Indiana, Virginia, and Nebraska’s 2nd congressional district).

  1. Black Girl Magic Movement (2012)

Black Girl Magic is an entertainment, broadcast, and apparel brand, with a TV show and podcast of the same name, created in 2014 by Beverly Bond.

The brand derived from the hashtag, coined by Cashawn Thompson, that went viral on social media in 2012, celebrating the power, beauty, and brilliance of black women. 

  1. Rise Of BLM Movement (2013)

The BLM movement began in July 2013, with the use of the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter on social media after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of African American teen Trayvon Martin 17 months earlier in February 2012.

It became nationally recognized for street demonstrations following the 2014 deaths of two more African Americans, —Michael Brown and Eric Garner. Since the Ferguson protests, participants in the movement have demonstrated against the deaths of numerous other African Americans by police actions or while in police custody. 

The originators of the hashtag and call to action, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi, expanded their project into a national network of over 30 local chapters between 2014 and 2016.

  1. Colin Kaepernick Takes A Knee (2016)

In the 49ers’ final 2016 preseason game on September 1, 2016, quarterback Colin Kaepernick opted to kneel during the U.S. national anthem rather than sit as he did in previous games. 

He explained his decision was in protest of police brutality and racial inequality in the United States. Kaepernick also stated the act of kneeling was an attempt to show respect to former and current U.S. military members while still protesting during the anthem.

  1. Meghan Markle Becomes The Princess Of Sussex (2018)

Meghan Markle wed Prince Harry in May 2018, a global public watched in awe as the first person of both African-American and European-American heritage joined the British Royal Family.

  1. Stacy Abrams, first Black female major party gubernatorial nominee in U.S. (2018)

Stacy Abrams ran for governor of Georgia in 2018. In the Democratic primary she ran against Stacey Evans, another member of the Georgia House of Representatives. 

On May 22, she won the Democratic nomination, making her the first Black woman in the U.S. to be a major party’s nominee for governor. After winning the primary, Abrams secured a number of high-profile endorsements, including one from former president Barack Obama.

  1. Murder of Ahmaud Arbery (2020)

On February 23, 2020, Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old black man, was murdered during a racially motivated hate crime while jogging in Satilla Shores, a neighborhood near Brunswick in Glynn County, Georgia.

On August 8, 2022, Travis and Gregory McMichael were sentenced to second life terms for committing a federal hate crime. Travis received an additional 10 years and his father Gregory seven years in addition to their life sentences. Bryan was sentenced to 35 years in prison.

  1. Murder of Breonna Taylor (2020)

On March 13, 2020, Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Black American woman, was fatally shot in her Louisville, Kentucky apartment when at least seven police officers forced entry into the apartment as part of an investigation into drug dealing operations.

On August 4, 2022, the United States Department of Justice announced that it had indicted three police officers—Kelly Goodlett, Joshua Jaynes and Kyle Meany—on charges of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and civil rights violations for conspiring to mislead the judge who approved the search warrant on Kenneth Walker’s house. 

Detective Brett Hankison, one of the officers who participated in the raid, was also charged with civil rights violations.

  1. Murder of George Floyd (2020)

George Perry Floyd Jr. was an African-American man who was murdered by a white police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota, during an arrest made after a store clerk suspected Floyd may have used a counterfeit twenty-dollar bill, on May 25, 2020.  

Derek Chauvin, one of four police officers who arrived on the scene, knelt on Floyd’s neck and back for 9 minutes and 29 seconds which caused a lack of oxygen. After his murder, protests against police brutality, especially towards Black people, quickly spread across the United States and globally. His dying words, “I can’t breathe”, became a rallying slogan.

  1. Nia DaCosta, 31, first Black woman to direct a Marvel film (2020)

Nia DaCosta (born November 8, 1989) is an American film director, screenwriter, and producer. She made her feature film debut as a writer and director for her crime thriller film Little Woods (2018). 

DaCosta garnered wide acclaim for winning the Nora Ephron Prize for Female Filmmakers at the Tribeca Film Festival. DaCosta became the youngest black female director to hit No. 1 at the box office for the weekend opening of her horror film Candyman (2021). In 2020, she was announced as the first black woman to direct a superhero film, The Marvels (2023).

  1. Amanda Gorman, 22, youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history (2021)

Amanda S. C. Gorman is an American poet and activist. Her work focuses on issues of oppression, feminism, race and marginalization, as well as the African diaspora. Gorman was the first person to be named National Youth Poet Laureate. 

She published the poetry book The One for Whom Food Is Not Enough in 2015. She rose to fame in 2021 for writing and delivering her poem “The Hill We Climb” at the inauguration of Joe Biden. Gorman’s inauguration poem generated international acclaim and shortly thereafter, two of her books achieved best-seller status, and she obtained a professional management contract.

  1. Kamala Harris, first Black, first South Asian American and first woman VP (2021)

Kamala Devi Harris is an American politician and attorney who is the 49th and incumbent Vice President of the United States under President Joe Biden. 

She is the first female vice president and the highest-ranking female official in U.S. history, as well as the first African-American and first Asian-American vice president.

  1. Spelman $100 Million Donation (2023)

In January 2024, Spelman received the largest single donation in its history and the largest ever to a HBCU with $100 million given by Spelman trustee Ronda Stryker and her husband, William Johnston. 

Spelman stated that $75 million of the $100 million donation will go towards endowed scholarships for future students, and the remaining $25 million will be used to “develop an academic focus on public policy and democracy, improve student housing and provide flexible funding to meet critical strategic needs.

  1. Ayo Edebiri & Quinta Brunson the only Black women to ever win Outstanding Lead & Supporting Actress in a Comedy in the same year at the 75th Emmys. (2024)

On January 15th, Friends Ayo Edebiri and Quinta Brunson won the first Emmy awards of the night back-to-back.

Quinta Brunson won best actress in a comedy at the Emmy Awards for the show she created, “Abbott Elementary”, becoming the first Black woman to win the award in more than 40 years and the first from a network show to win it in more than a decade.

After taking home the Golden Globe for best supporting female actor in a TV series for her Season 2 performance of The Bear, Ayo Edebiri finally received her Emmy recognition for Season 1.

Join us tomorrow as we celebrate 15 Iconic Moments In Black Culture.