And then there were three. Week three of my Black Excellence series celebrating the accomplishments of African Americans throughout history in a variety of areas whether it be in politics or sports among others. Last week I shouted out Bill Russell, Ken Griffey Jr, Kanye West, and DeRay Mckesson. This week another pair of talented music artist get their shout outs along with a special lady who is special to this country. And last but not least, another key leader in the Black Lives Matter movement. All four of these individuals represent black excellence in their own unique and beneficial way. I salute them and their efforts as they continue to make strides in their professions.
Ladies first? I think so. Let me begin my shout outs with the lovely, strong, and caring Johnetta Elzie. Also known as, Netta.
Johnetta Elzie; (Activist) – My description of her in the prior text is exactly that. She is strong because she fights for what she believes in. She is lovely because of her genuine persona (based on what I see on Twitter). She is caring because she cares about my blackness as well as yours (if you’re black that is). Netta is one of the leaders involved in the Black Lives Matter movement. She was very active during the protests that took place in Baltimore and Ferguson among other places. She also is apart of spearheading the project Mapping Police Violence, which tracks the amount of people killed by the police. Her pride, bravery, and hard work exemplifies Black Excellence and the future is in good hands thanks to someone as young, pretty, and intelligent like her (By the way, she never shy’s away from providing a clapback to someone who needs to be put in her place and I must say, it’s dope).
Beyoncé; (Music Artist) – Another Black Women who is proud of who she is and where she’s from. Queen B of the #BeyHive, is coming off of a controversial showing at the Super Bowl. At halftime, she performed her latest single Formation which had a video released a day prior (If you haven’t heard the song or seen the video I encourage you to do so). In short, the song, video, and performance were unapologetically black where she made it known that she is proud of her heritage and well being of other black folk. People criticized her for days on end and when you’re speaking up on how you truly feel, the critics will come. Even when you’re pleading for police to stop their brutality. I appreciate Beyoncé using her platform and trying to spread the message. Regardless on how you feel about her, the least you can do it respect that in addition to her many accolades throughout her huge career. May God bless the mother of Blue Ivy Carter herself, Beyoncé (Red Lobster should thank her too).
Kendrick Lamar; (Music Artist) – The Compton native is known as many things, K. Dot or King Kendrick are the two names I’d like to call him. He recently won five Grammy awards for his critically acclaimed album To Pimp a Butterfly, which incorporated some Jazz, Funk, and Soul influence. The album was dense with content, very complex, yet rewarding (I would also encourage you to take a listen to it). Similar to Beyoncé, he also came under some fire for his performance at the Grammy awards where again, came off as unapologetically black and honest. Controversy struck and like Beyoncé he still rose to the occasion. The man takes risks and is a talented MC. He cares about his people and defied the odds by going from a kid living in the tough streets of Compton to a Hip Hop Superstar. He does a lot of help for many communities and always looks to be of help. He is easily one of if not the best of his era already. Even with a few differences aside, Kendrick is one of many examples of Black Excellence.
Michelle Obama; (First Lady) – The first black first lady to the first black president of the United States otherwise known as Michelle Obama, wife to Barack Obama, and mother to Malia and Sasha Obama. Michelle strives to take the initiative in whatever does. Whether it’s to visit and assist in homeless shelters/soup kitchens, advocating for healthy eating, or joining social campaigns such as #BringBackOurGirls among other things. The Illinois native is very educated and a prized scholar as she graduated from Princeton University and Harvard Law School. A black woman defines excellence when she stays the course and finished the race. In Obama’s case, she finished it and took a few victory laps by her continuing with her education. She is in tune with her audience as well as charismatic with her glowing, welcoming personality. President Obama is lucky to have a woman like her in his life and while it’s sad that this is the last year we’ll see the Obama’s in the white house, we’ll never forget the lasting impact they’ve had. And the gorgeous, intelligent, charismatic first lady that is Michelle Obama will have had a lasting impact.
Got any Black individuals you’d like for me to shout out on next week’s edition of Black Excellence? Shoot me an email with the description and the person to firstname.lastname@example.org. The person could be anyone from famous, to someone who you know personally in your local area, or to someone you even follow on social media. Let me know!
Welcome to the AD report.