A leader is one that inspires and cares for people. Someone with a vision for a brighter future, a purpose, a high energy level, wisdom, an objective, and ready to assume responsibility and take the pain with the hard work of serving and building up the self-worth of others. Within Black history, there have been several personalities with such traits who have selflessly dedicated their lives to leading others.

During this year’s black history month, we want to celebrate and highlight some of these icons. 


Muhammad Ali is one of the greatest American professional boxers, popular in the history of international boxing. Originally known as Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr., he rose to become the most successful boxer in the world in the 1960s after having won the heavyweight crown a total of three times and also defied an order to fight in Vietnam.

He developed into an integration figure, especially for the black population of America and also became a preacher of peace at the end of his life. His life is worth looking at how he became a champion.


Born into slavery, Harriet Tubman was a Republican that stood up to fight against the oppression brought to her and the black population due to slavery. Harriet Tubman was a pro-second amendment that never attended a political rally, but instead risked her life by going into slave territory and leading over 300 slaves to freedom. After she had escaped from the oppression by her masters, Harriet Tubman decided to return to her old slave plantation to rescue her loved ones. Her mission went past this initial plan and rewarded over 300 other slaves with the freedom they were yearning for. Harriet Tubman never advocated violence against her oppressors and was a prominent, active Christian.


A Nobel Peace Prize winner in October 1964, Martin Luther King Jr was an African-American Baptist minister and civil rights leader. Born in Atlanta, many people remember King by the force of his character and humbleness he caused the white people to look in the mirror and see the historical error they had adopted. Without any blame, anger, self-righteousness, and no political aims, King was never afraid to stand up and say “Look at me and tell me what you see.”


Oprah Winfrey discusses her new book “Building the Life You Want: The Art and Science of Getting Happier” at the 92nd Street Y on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2023, in New York. (Photo by Christopher Smith/Invision/AP)

Born in 1954, Oprah Winfrey’s profile reads like the American dream. An illegitimate daughter from modest circumstances, she eventually became one of the richest people in the world and the first woman to own her Television network in America. Oprah Winfrey has always stood up for social purposes, such as sexual abuse of children and drug use. She also worked to pass the National Child Protection Act and has supported numerous non-profit organizations that educate and empower women and children.


Mansa Musa is probably the wealthiest person in history. He is synonymous with the utmost expensive gift giving. Mansa Musa of Mali was a powerful and wealthy leader of the Mali empire for the better part of the first half of the 13th century. His wealth came from gold mines, salt deposits, ivory trade and slave trade.

As a ruler of the greater Mali Empire, his reign brought about significant progress in the Mali territory. He expanded Mali’s borders by incorporating the cities of Gao and Timbuktu, turning the latter into an Islamic Centre of learning.

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