Periodic Table of Black History

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Get ready to dive into the “Periodic Table of Black History,” your go-to spot for an awesome and enlightening trip through the major game-changers in Black history. This cool table is like the ultimate backdoor into the lives and super cool achievements of some seriously impactful folks. As you check out this table, you’re gonna hop in a time machine, meeting the movers and shakers, the real deal creators, and the leaders who’ve etched their marks into the very fabric of our world.

NameCategoryYearDescription
Mansa MusaAfrican Kingc. 1280-1337Ruler of the Mali Empire, one of the wealthiest individuals in history.
Queen NzingaAfrican Queen1583-1663Resisted Portuguese colonization, ruling Ndongo and Matamba.
Olaudah EquianoAbolitionist/Writerc. 1745-1797Wrote an autobiography detailing his experiences as a slave and a free man.
Phillis WheatleyPoetc. 1753-1784First African American author of a published book of poetry.
Toussaint LouvertureLeader of Haitian Revolution1743-1803Led the Haitian Revolution, defeating European powers to end slavery.
Harriet TubmanAbolitionistc. 1822-1913Led hundreds to freedom via the Underground Railroad.
Frederick DouglassAbolitionist/Writer1818-1895Escaped slavery and became a leader of the abolitionist movement.
Sojourner TruthAbolitionist/Speakerc. 1797-1883Famous for her “Ain’t I a Woman?” speech advocating for civil and women’s rights.
Booker T. WashingtonEducator/Author1856-1915Founded Tuskegee Institute, a leading African American college.
W.E.B. Du BoisSociologist/Activist1868-1963Co-founder of the NAACP, fought for African American rights.
Marcus GarveyBlack Nationalist1887-1940Advocated for Pan-Africanism and founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association.
Josephine BakerEntertainer/Civil Rights Activist1906-1975Famous entertainer who also worked for the French Resistance and civil rights.
Jesse OwensAthlete1913-1980Won 4 gold medals in the 1936 Olympic Games, challenging Nazi ideologies.
Rosa ParksCivil Rights Activist1913-2005Her refusal to give up a bus seat sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
Martin Luther King Jr.Civil Rights Leader1929-1968Led the Civil Rights Movement, known for his “I Have a Dream” speech.
Malcolm XCivil Rights Leader1925-1965Advocated for African American rights, emphasizing pride and self-defense.
Maya AngelouAuthor/Poet1928-2014Wrote “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” exploring themes of identity and racism.
Shirley ChisholmPolitician1924-2005First African American woman elected to the U.S. Congress.
Nelson MandelaAnti-Apartheid Leader1918-2013Led the fight against apartheid in South Africa, later became President.
Barack ObamaU.S. President1961-First African American President of the United States.
Kamala HarrisU.S. Vice President1964-First African American and first female Vice President of the U.S.
Katherine JohnsonMathematician1918-2020Her calculations were crucial to the success of U.S. manned spaceflights.
Toni MorrisonNovelist1931-2019First African American woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Langston HughesPoet1902-1967A leading figure of the Harlem Renaissance, known for his insights into black life in America.
Zora Neale HurstonAuthor1891-1960Major female writer of the Harlem Renaissance, wrote “Their Eyes Were Watching God.”
George Washington CarverScientist/Inventor1860s-1943Revolutionized agriculture with crop rotation and peanut products.
Muhammad AliAthlete/Activist1942-2016World Heavyweight Boxing Champion and civil rights activist.
Thurgood MarshallSupreme Court Justice1908-1993First African American U.S. Supreme Court Justice.
Ruby BridgesCivil Rights Activist1954-At six years old, was the first African American child to desegregate an all-white elementary school in the South.
Angela DavisActivist/Scholar1944-Prominent activist and scholar known for her work on race, class, and the U.S. prison system.
James BaldwinNovelist/Essayist1924-1987Explored complexities of racial, sexual, and class distinctions in Western societies.
Oprah WinfreyMedia Proprietor/Actress1954-Influential media executive, talk show host, actress, and philanthropist.
Serena WilliamsAthlete1981-One of the greatest tennis players of all time, with numerous Grand Slam titles.
John LewisCivil Rights Leader1940-2020Played a key role in the civil rights movement and was a U.S. Congressman for Georgia.
Beyonc√©Singer/Songwriter1981-Influential artist known for her music and activism in racial equality and women’s rights.
Colin KaepernickAthlete/Activist1987-Professional football player who protested against racial injustice and police brutality.
Chimamanda Ngozi AdichieAuthor1977-Renowned Nigerian writer, known for her novels and essays on feminism and race.
Ava DuVernayFilmmaker1972-Director and screenwriter known for works focusing on African American history and issues.
Ta-Nehisi CoatesAuthor/Journalist1975-His work explores cultural, social, and political issues relating to African Americans.
Laverne CoxActress/Transgender Advocate1972-First openly transgender person to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award.
Ida B. WellsJournalist/Activist1862-1931Early leader in the Civil Rights Movement and founder of the NAACP.
Jean-Michel BasquiatArtist1960-1988Pioneering Neo-Expressionist artist known for his raw, symbolic artwork.
Bessie ColemanAviator1892-1926First African American woman and first Native American to hold a pilot license.
Marsha P. JohnsonLGBTQ+ Activist1945-1992Prominent figure in the Stonewall uprising and advocate for LGBTQ+ rights.
Louis ArmstrongJazz Musician1901-1971Influential figure in jazz, known for his trumpet playing and singing.
Althea GibsonTennis Player1927-2003First African American to win a Grand Slam title.
Octavia E. ButlerScience Fiction Writer1947-2006Award-winning author known for her contributions to the science fiction genre.
Madam C.J. WalkerEntrepreneur/Activist1867-1919First female self-made millionaire in America through her hair care and cosmetics business.
Huey P. NewtonPolitical Activist1942-1989Co-founder of the Black Panther Party.
Jackie RobinsonBaseball Player1919-1972First African American to play in Major League Baseball in the modern era.
Aretha FranklinSinger/Songwriter1942-2018The “Queen of Soul,” known for her powerful voice and emotional depth in music.
Maya MooreBasketball Player/Activist1989-WNBA star who took a break from her career to focus on criminal justice reform.
Misty CopelandBallet Dancer1982-First African American woman to be promoted to principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre.
Stacey AbramsPolitician/Activist1973-Notable for her work on voting rights and political advocacy in Georgia.
Chadwick BosemanActor1976-2020Best known for his role as T’Challa/Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Amanda GormanPoet1998-Youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history, known for her poem “The Hill We Climb.”
Michael JordanBasketball Player1963-Regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time.
Patrisse CullorsActivist1983-Co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Simone BilesGymnast1997-Most decorated American gymnast, known for her unprecedented achievements in the sport.
N.K. JemisinAuthor1972-First author to win three consecutive Hugo Awards for Best Novel, known for her speculative fiction works.

This “Periodic Table of Black History” is a powerful shout-out to the guts, genius, and unforgettable influence of African Americans across the board, from way back when to the here and now. It’s a call for all of us to soak up the awesomeness of Black history and keep soaking in the tales of the trailblazers who’ve lit the path for the crew coming up next. Cruising through this table, let’s tip our hats to their amazing deeds and snag a little fire from their stories to help spark a brighter, cooler, everybody-friendly plan.

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