10 Great Black Men Who Have Made an Enormous Impact in History

Written by Jae Jones


1. Charles Hamilton Houston

Charles Hamilton Houston was a prominent African-American lawyer, Dean of Howard University Law School, and NAACP Litigation Director. He  played a significant role in dismantling the Jim Crow laws, which earned him the title “The Man Who Killed Jim Crow.”


2. Nat Turner

Nat Turner was an African-American slave who led a rebellion of slaves and free blacks in Southampton County, Virginia on August 21, 1831. The uprising resulted in the deaths of at least 50 white people.


3. Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. King was best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience based on his Christian beliefs. He was a Baptist minister.


4. Langston Hughes

Best known for his work during the Harlem Renaissance, Hughes managed to frame issues regarding African-American identity and pride through his poetry. He also contributed greatly to the NAACP’s The Crisis and The Messenger.


5. Harry Belafonte

Harold George “Harry” Bellanfanti, Jr., better known as Harry Belafonte, is an American singer, songwriter, actor, and civil and human rights activist. One of the most successful Caribbean American pop stars in history, he was dubbed the “King of Calypso” for popularizing the Caribbean musical style with an international audience in the 1950s.


6. Carter G. Woodson

Carter Godwin Woodson was an African-American historian, author, journalist, and the founder of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. Woodson is known as “The Father of Black History.”


7. John H. Johnson

John Harold Johnson was an American businessman and publisher. He was the founder of the Johnson Publishing Company. In 1982, he became the first African American to appear on the Forbes 400.


8. W.E.B. Du Bois

William Edward Burghardt “W.E.B.” Du Bois was an American sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, author, and editor.


9. Jesse Jackson

Reverend Jesse Louis Jackson, Sr., is an American civil rights activist, Baptist minister, and politician. He was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984 and 1988 and served as a shadow U.S. Senator for the District of Columbia from 1991 to 1997.


10. Barack Obama

Barack Hussein Obama II is an American politician serving as the 44th President of the United States, the first African American to hold the office.

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About the author

Jae Jones

Jae Jones has been writing professionally for over 10 years. She holds a degree in Business Administration, and enjoys writing on various topics.

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