Fascinating Black Leaders of Today

Then you can thank the creator and executive producer Shona Rhimes.

Shonda Rhimes is the “first African-American woman to create and executive produce a top-ten network series.” Rhimes has created hits like Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, and Scandal. She has received a GLAAD Media Award, a Writers Guild of America Awards, NAACP Image Awards and a Producers Guild Award.

Our country celebrates Black History Month this month. It began as national “Negro History Week” during the second week of February in 1926. Since then it has become a time to celebrate the achievements of African Americans, both past and present.

There are many Black leaders today that are currently impacting the world, from filmmaker Ava Marie DuVernay to eco-chef Bryant Terry. Listed below are a few more African Americans who are currently influencing our country.

Mindful Black Leaders You Should Know
  1. Henry Louis Gates Jr. is an author, historian, critic, and Harvard professor. He’s the director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African-American Research. He’s also known as the host and co-producer of the PBS documentary series, African American Lives, which explores African American lineage through DNA.
  2. Van Jones is a civil rights and environmental activist. In 2009, he served as a presidential green jobs advisor. He’s also an author and co-founder of non-profit organizations to end violence (the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights), build a green economy (Green for All), and strengthen African Americans political voices (Color of Change).
  3. President Barack Obama, America’s first African American president and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, has just begun his second term in office. With his “positions on jobs, healthcare, women’s rights, and education” he has proven his dedication to civil rights.
  4. Donna Payne is a founding board member of the National Black Justice Coalition and served as an associate director at the Human Rights Campaign, which fights for equal rights for the LGBT community. Her work at HRC helped to “increase visibility of the LGBT community within the religious and people of color communities.”
  5. Neil deGrasse Tyson is an astrophysicist who served as a presidential advisor for the 2001 Commission on the Future of the U.S. Aerospace Industry and the 2004 Commission on Implementation of U.S. Space Exploration Policy. He’s also the former host of PBS’s NOVA scienceNOW. In 2001, the International Astronomical Union named an asteroid in his honor (13123 Tyson).

Main Photo Credit: Bret Hartman (TED Conference) / Flickr