2016 was not an easy year for us all. However, a lot of good things happened last year and a lot of great Black people had a chance to prove themselves. Today, we celebrate doers, risk takers and makers of things.
Who are the young leaders of the new social rights school?
Since debuting on Blackish, the 16-year-old has been a fan favorite for using her platform to uplift women of color in Hollywood. A one-time dream was to work for the FBI until she realized she liked acting. Next up for Shahidi: college applications.
Uwamanzu-Nna, 18, made headlines last spring after receiving acceptance letters to all eight Ivy League Universities. She chose Harvard, mostly because of the school’s focus on STEM—science, technology, engineering, and math.
Chloe x Halle
The singing sibs had a monster 2016. They starred in Beyonce’s album Lemonade as part of the short film for the song Freedom dropped the EP Sugar Symphony and performed ahead of First Lady Michelle Obama an SXSW.
The Chicago rapper made news this year for a pair of hard-hitting tracks: 16 Shots an angst-filled video rebuttal to the Chicago police fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald, and Birth of a Nation soundtrack standout Go Tell ‘Em
This savvy social entrepreneur has her sights set on success. Ulmer, 11, a native of Austin, Texas, turned her lemonade stand into an $11 million business, thanks to a contract she inked with Whole Foods Market to carry her Me & the Bees Lemonade.
At age 14, Cleveland native Daron Taylor started a lawn-mowing business, saving up enough to buy a bike and the materials to build a cart for his lawn mower. Last summer, he raised more than $20,000 to scale up his business.
The 11-year-old behind #1000BlackGirl Books, a campaign to get more books with Black girl protagonists into the hands of Black girls, has collected 7,000 – plus books and launched a literacy tour.
The actress and “SMS” (social media slayer) became the face of anti-bullying when her epic clapback challenging Azealia Bank’s racist and homophobic rants against singer Zayn Ma went viral.