Pak’s Celebrates Influential Black People
There is never a wrong time to celebrate the influence and importance of black people. Still, in honour of Nelson Mandela Day, 18th of July, it is only fitting to shine a light on cultural heroes and icons who have made the world a better place.
From black people who changed the world, ushering in human rights for all and creating a better world to live in, to the entertainers who make life more enjoyable, there are inspirational people at all levels.
Pak’s is proud to acknowledge Nelson Mandela and influential black people who have helped open doors and change the world for so many people.
Nelson Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader, and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the country's first black head of state and the first elected in a fully representative black majority election. His government focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid by tackling institutionalised racism and fostering racial reconciliation.
As an icon of democracy and social justice, Mandela received more than 250 honours—including the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize—during his lifetime.
What did he do?
Mandela was a human rights activist who fought for the equal treatment of black people in South Africa. He campaigned against the country's racially discriminatory laws, and was eventually arrested and jailed for his activism. While in prison, Mandela continued to fight for black rights, and when he was released in 1990, he became a leader of the African National Congress (ANC).
What did he achieve?
Mandela's work helped to end the apartheid system in South Africa, and he is considered one of the most influential black leaders in history. He helped establish the ANC as a formidable political force and was instrumental in negotiations to end racial segregation and discrimination in South Africa.
Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King was an American Baptist minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the civil rights movement from 1955 until his assassination in 1968. King is best known for advancing civil rights through nonviolence, and civil disobedience, tactics his Christian beliefs and the nonviolent activism of Mahatma Gandhi helped inspire.
What did he do?
King led the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957, serving as its first president. With the SCLC, King led an unsuccessful 1962 struggle against segregation in Albany, Georgia (the Albany Movement) and helped organise the 1963 nonviolent protests in Birmingham, Alabama. This attracted national attention following television news coverage of the brutal police response. King also helped to organise the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech.
What did he achieve?
King's work helped to end legal segregation in the United States and inspired other black people to fight for their rights. He also helped to establish the SCLC as a powerful black civil rights organisation, and his "I Have a Dream" speech is considered one of the most important speeches in American history.
Rosa Parks was an American civil rights activist who became famous for her role in the Montgomery bus boycott. Parks was born in Tuskegee, Alabama, and moved to Montgomery in 1943. In 1955, she was arrested for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white person, an act of civil disobedience that inspired the black community to boycott the Montgomery buses.
What did she do?
Parks' civil disobedience helped spark the Montgomery bus boycott, an important event in the civil rights movement. The boycott lasted 381 days and resulted in a desegregation ruling by the United States Supreme Court. What did she achieve? Parks' act of defiance helped to end legal segregation on buses in Montgomery, and her role in the bus boycott made her an important figure in the civil rights movement. Her story also inspired other black people to fight for their rights.
Barack Obama was the 44th President of the United States, and Michelle Obama is a lawyer, writer, and former First Lady of the United States. They are both black Americans who have had a significant impact on American politics and society. What did they do? During his two terms in office, Barack Obama made history as the first black President of the United States. He worked to improve race relations in America, and his election was a victory for black Americans. Michelle Obama is also known for her work on behalf of black Americans and on issues like gender equality and education. What did they achieve? The Obamas helped to make black Americans more visible in American politics and society, and their work on behalf of black Americans has inspired many people. They have also worked to improve race relations in America, and Michelle Obama's work on gender equality and education has helped to empower black women and girls.
Sir Trevor McDonald
Sir Trevor McDonald is a black British journalist and newsreader who is best known for his work on ITV News. He was born in Trinidad and Tobago and moved to Britain in 1969. He began his career in journalism in 1974 and has since become one of the most respected journalists in the country. What did he do? McDonald has worked as a journalist and newsreader for over 40 years and is best known for his work on ITV News. He has also presented several documentaries on black British history and culture and was knighted in 1999 for his services to journalism. What did he achieve? McDonald's career in journalism has helped to increase black visibility in the British media, and his work on black British history and culture has helped to educate the public about the black experience in Britain. He has also been an outspoken advocate for racial equality and was knighted in 1999 for his services to journalism. The role of Trevor McDonald in being a prominent black person on TV every day cannot be overstated.
Stormzy is a black British rapper and grime artist who is one of the most successful musicians in the country. He was born and raised in London and first rose to prominence with his single "Shut Up" in 2015. Stormzy's headline performance at the Glastonbury music festival in 2019 catapulted him to greater fame, introducing his music to a broader audience.
Chadwick Boseman was an American actor, screenwriter, and producer. He was best known for his role as black superhero Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films. He also appeared in other films, such as 42, Get on Up and Marshall. Boseman was a committed activist, using his platform to speak about social issues like racism and police brutality.
What did he achieve?
Boseman helped to increase black visibility in Hollywood, and his work as an activist inspired many people. He also helped to normalise black superhero characters, and his film Black Panther was a critical and commercial success. Boseman's role as black superhero Black Panther was ground-breaking, and his work as an activist inspired many people. Boseman died in 2020 after a four-year battle with colon cancer.
Nicola Adams is a black British boxer who is the first woman to win an Olympic gold medal in boxing. She was born in Leeds and began her career in boxing in 2001. Adams has won multiple championships, and her historic victory at the 2012 Olympics made her a household name.
What did she achieve?
Adams' historic victory at the 2012 Olympics made her the first black woman to win an Olympic gold medal in boxing. She is also the first openly gay boxer to win a major championship. Adams has used her platform to speak out about issues like racism and homophobia and advocates for gender equality in sports.
Leigh-Anne Pinnock is a black British singer and songwriter who is best known as a member of the girl group Little Mix. She was born in London and joined Little Mix in 2011. The group has become one of the most successful pop groups in the world, selling millions of records and winning multiple awards.
What did she achieve?
Pinnock has helped to increase black visibility in the music industry, and her work with Little Mix has helped to break down barriers for black women in the pop industry. The group's success has also helped to raise awareness of social issues like racism and sexism, and they have been outspoken advocates for gender equality.
Pak’s hopes you all have a good Nelson Mandela Day, and to remember the brilliant work done by black people, at all levels of society, every day.