February is Black History Month! HOT 92.9 is proud to present our 2018 Making Black History Today! Our selections are people who are making a positive impact today and progressing the African-American community forward.

Each day, during Black History Month, HOT 92.9 will salute an African American who is Making Black History Today! We know that there are so many who are deserving of our recognition, especially the people in our local communities and that is why we want you to share with us a photo your friends, family members, colleagues or person who serves your community who you think is making Black History today so we can all recognize them together!

We hope you check back with us to see who we honor every day this month!

February 24th

Kerry Washington

Occasionally in American pop culture, an icon emerges who captivates us and provides a vivid snapshot of who we are and the changing times in which we live. In her role as Olivia Pope, Scandal’s unflappable political fixer, Kerry Washington has used her grace and vibrant magnetism to transcend age, race and gender, and to provide a new mainstream media lens through which to view modern womanhood and professional excellence. Kerry’s work with the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities since 2009 is also a source of deep inspiration, using arts education to close achievement gaps and ignite passion among young people.

February 23rd

Tyler Perry

Tyler Perry is an American actor and comedian. In 2011, Forbes listed him as the highest paid man in entertainment; he earned $130 million USD between May 2010 and 2011. Perry created and performs the Madea character, a tough elderly black woman. Perry also creates films, some produced as live recordings of stage plays, and others filmed using full sets and locations with full editing. Perry is estimated to have earned around US$75 million by 2008.

 

February 22nd

Stevie Wonder

Among his world-famous singles are songs such as ‘Superstition’, and Stevie Wonder’s work is indeed popular all over the globe. Talented and creative, he is associated with Motown and signed to the label by Berry Gordy. He achieved awards for civil rights work in addition to the UN Messengers of Peace prize. Wonder has inspired many artists of the modern era including US rapper Kanye West and remains a powerful force in the music industry.

February 21st

Stephen Curry

What an unlikely prospect. Yet, at 6 feet 3 inches tall and 190 pounds dripping wet, Wardell Stephen Curry has been rewriting record books since he hit 162 3-pointers as a sophomore at Davidson College. This year, Curry won his second-straight NBA MVP Award—the first ever won by unanimous vote—and led his Golden State Warriors to a 73–9 record during the regular season. With a winning combo of boyish exuberance, laser focus and a wicked jump shot, the relentless competitor suffered a surprising team loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals, but the playful family man and all-around good guy is still golden.

February 20th

Ciara

Ciara Princess Harris or known popularly as ‘Ciara’ began her singing career on a sensational note with her triple platinum album “Goodies”. She has sold over 23 million records worldwide. Among her various awards and accolades, she has won three MTV Music Video Awards, three BET Awards and also a Grammy! She also made it to the 2011 Maxim’s List of Hot 100 and she is regarded as one of the sexiest black women in the music industry.

February 19th

Lupita Nyong'o

The Oscar-winning Kenyan-Mexican actress began her Hollywood career as a production assistant. Her performance in her first feature film ‘12 Years A Slave’ won her the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, making her the sixth black woman to have won an Oscar for the category. In 2014, the lovely chocolate-skin girl was named “The Most Beautiful Woman” by People and “Woman of the Year” by Glamour.

February 18th

Barack Obama

Barack Obama served as the 44th President of the United States and the first ever African-American President. His story is the American story — values from the heartland, a middle-class upbringing in a strong family, hard work and education as the means of getting ahead, and the conviction that a life so blessed should be lived in service to others. He will forever be remembered as the man who shattered the glass ceiling of African-Americans and taught us all that we truly can be anything we want to be when we grow up.

February 17th

Laila Ali

The daughter of legendary boxing champion Muhammad Ali – Laila Ali is a former professional boxer (she has been in the sport from 1999 to 2007). Her father did not want her to pursue the sport due to its dangerous nature, but Laila was unstoppable. During her boxing career, she remained undefeated and has won a number of titles to her name including the Women’s Boxing Association’s Light Heavyweight title.

February 16th

Ice Cube

Ice Cube’s role as the outspoken and aggressive young rapper in the Straight Outta Compton documentary only scratched the surface of the legacy he’s left for newer generations. His bluntness on the topics of today live on with the new age of West Coast rappers such as Vince Staples, who also speaks candidly about the unchanged relationships between young black males and the police even today. Today’s rappers aren’t just influenced by Cube’s rambunctious “I don’t give a fuck” attitude, but also his vivid storytelling abilities. Kendrick Lamar and Dom Kennedy are just a few new age rappers who excel at not only spitting the lifestyle of a typical West Coast citizen on wax, but doing it with the same brutal honesty and sometimes dark humor that Cube shared with audiences on “Today Was a Good Day.” Time will tell if any rapper will have his entrepreneurial spirit, or acting accolades, but one thing is for sure: He has left a lasting mark on West Coast rap.

February 15th

Jennifer Hudson

She rose to fame as a finalist on the third season of ‘American Idol’ in 2004, coming in the seventh position and ever since then, there’s no looking back for J-Hud! She has won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, a BAFTA  and also a Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Supporting Actress. She also won a Grammy for Best R&B Album. She is currently a coach on the 2017 series of ‘The Voice (U.K).

February 14th

Oprah Winfrey

“Don’t worry about becoming successful but work toward being significant and the success will naturally follow” – these are the words of the legendary Oprah Winfrey. She is considered to be the greatest black philanthropist in American history. Hers is the most inspirational tale of rags-to-riches, with her growing up in extreme poverty and enduring endless hardships to becoming one of the richest African-Americans in the world. Oprah was awarded the ‘Presidential Medal of Freedom’ by Barack Obama and honorary doctorate degrees from Harvard and Duke. Also, her talk-show ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ is the highest-rated television program of its kind in all of History. She’s indeed a true inspiration for millions around the globe.

February 13th

Leslie Odom Jr.

There couldn’t have been a better actor to play the role of former Vice President Aaron Burr in the blockbuster musical Hamilton. He passionately prepped for the part, read for the part and repeatedly texted the director to tell him that he wanted the part. When he got it, he rapped and danced Aaron Burr better than Aaron Burr could have rapped and danced himself. For his work, Odom was rewarded with a 2016 Tony for best actor in a leading role in a musical, the highlight of a year of special. Next up for the apparent history enthusiast: He’s partnering with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater for r-Evolution, Dream, based on the sermons and speeches of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

February 12th

Colin Kapernick

This season, San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick decided to kneel during the national anthem so that he could stand for the sanctity of black lives. Kaepernick’s action has set off a wave of solidarity from athletes all over the country—from junior high school students to professional competitors in other sports. Though some peers and fans have spoken against Kaepernick’s action, many are supportive, as evidenced by his jersey going to No. 1 in sales (the proceeds of which he says he will donate to charity, in addition to $1 million). In the tradition of activist athletes like Muhammad Ali and Jim Brown, Kaepernick is this generation’s shining black prince on the field. Salute.

February 11th

Jesse Williams

A beautiful man with a beautiful mind is a hero both on and off the screen. When Williams was honored for his humanitarian work at the 2016 BET Awards, he used his mic time to highlight the urgent fight for black justice, delivering the best two-minute-and-four-second acceptance speech the network ever aired. The Grey’s Anatomy star executive-produced Stay Woke, a documentary on the Black Lives Matter movement—also on BET—and teamed up with boss and fellow Chicagoan Shonda Rhimes for America Divided, a series investigating domestic inequality scheduled to air on Epix Sept. 30. Williams and his wife, Aryn Drake-Lee Williams, have also been busy creating: Together, they launched a new app called Ebroji and welcomed their second child, Maceo.

February 10th

Beyonce Knowles-Carter

You know you are beyond when a skyscraper—on another continent—has been imagined in your likeness. Or when you drop a surprise album and the cultural conversation immediately shifts. But more than towering over music, fashion, conversation and vernacular (see: “flawless,” “watta-melon,” “Becky,” “surfbort”), Beyoncé has gracefully metamorphosed into her grown black womanness, armed with outsize talent, synergistic business acumen and an unsparing critique of the current state of things. Her Super Bowl performance of “Formation,” which was assessed, discussed and debated ad nauseam, primed us (but we weren’t ready tho) for her $100 million tour and grand, visual, surprise album, Lemonade, a soaring love letter to and for black women and girls.

February 9th

Tristan Walker

When a brother with a degree from Stanford School of Business has a heart for consumers who look like him, their problems become his inspiration. Frustrated with multiblade razors that burdened 80 percent of black consumers with razor bumps, Walker developed Bevel, a five-product shaving system with an optimal, single-blade razor that is kinder to our skin. His conscientious startup, Walker & Co., raised $24 million in capital from investors including Magic Johnson, John Legend and Andre Iguodala, with a freshly inked deal to sell Bevel in select Target stores and plans to develop more high-quality products for people of color. Bonus: He’s breaking with Silicon Valley tradition by intentionally recruiting women and minorities for the growing company.

February 8th

Kendrick Lamar

It was one hell of a year for Kendrick Lamar. He earned 11 Grammy nominations for his platinum-selling sophomore album, To Pimp a Butterfly, just one short of the record set by Michael Jackson in his Thriller-era reign. Lamar took home five Grammys, including one for “Alright,” the unofficial protest anthem of the Black Lives Matter movement. For his artistry and activism in music, everybody’s favorite Compton, Calif., emcee was awarded the key to the city, honored by the California Senate with the Generational Icon award and partnered with Reebok to redesign the classic leather sneaker to represent unity between Bloods and Crips in his hometown. And he dropped a new project, Untitled Unmastered. Lamar’s social life is equally lit: He was invited to celebrate President Barack Obama’s birthday with President Obama. Just another 365 days of being K. Dot.

February 7th

Taraji P. Henson

The Academy-Award winning actress was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world on the annual ‘Time 100 list’ in 2016. Some of her most marvelous performances were seen in the Oscar nominated film ‘Hidden Figures’, the hit TV series ‘Empire’ and other films like ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’ and ‘Person of Interest’. She was also voted as one of “The 10 Sexiest Women of 2001” by the readers of ‘Black Men’ magazine.

February 6th

Sage Steele

She brings balanced, credible coverage to ESPN as host of the weekend edition of NBA Countdown and, in October, will expand her sportscaster magnificence to serve as lead host for SportsCenter on the Road. Steele is one of ESPN’s standout talents and one of the most recognizable—she’s everywhere the action is, from sideline interviews at the All-Star Game to running the halftime show of this year’s NBA Finals to on-site coverage of the Super Bowl—so her new role will keep her even more in motion as part of its on-site programming initiative. A champion for women in media, Steele has slain the dragons of ageism and sexism in her 21 years in the business, leading both by example and activism to make opportunities more abundant for younger women and even for herself because she ain’t close to being done yet.

February 5th

Chadwick Boseman

Apparently, Chadwick Boseman is every (black) man because he has deftly depicted our most talented—from Jackie Robinson and James Brown to jurist Thurgood Marshall. But Boseman also dazzles in the mystical realm, portraying the Black Panther, first in Captain America: Civil War and next in his own vehicle, set to hit theaters in February. But back to reality—the incredibly gifted scribe has also won acclaim for Deep Azure, a play loosely based on fellow Howard student Prince Jones, who was killed by police in 2000. It was praised for its rich lyrical gumbo infusing everything from hip-hop to Hebrew in its staccato lines.

February 4th

LeBron James

One can never tire of using biblical allusions for “King James” because his story is so epic. Yes, the prodigal son of Akron, Ohio, delivered Cleveland its first-ever NBA title, taking on a Goliath competitor, and winning his third NBA Finals MVP in the process. Yes, he signed a lifetime deal with Nike worth a billion dollars; and yes, as beneficent ruler of his brand, James has empowered his peers and laid a template for more favorable contracts for all players. But the best part, though, is how this young phenom consistently stands up in the face of injustice and gives back in spades. Such majesty!

February 3rd

Serena Williams

This ‘wonder woman’  has been ranked World No. 1 in singles by the ‘Women’s Tennis Associaton’ (WTA) on eight occasions from 2002-2017. Some of the commentators, sports writers, and even players regard her as the greatest tennis player of all time. She has won so many awards for her performance in the sport that it’s hard to even keep count. Besides Tennis, she has her own fund that aims to create equality through education and assists victims of senseless violence. The tennis star has struggled with body-shaming and cruel remarks about her body but she does not allow anything to break her and she only keeps climbing the ladder of success, further up. Also, she recently gave birth to a baby girl. Way to go, Serena!

February 2nd

Jordan Peele

Rose to fame with his sketch comedy Key and Peele. Now Jordan Peele is a Director, Producer, Writer – Nominated for Director of the Year for the 2018 Academy Awards. Jordan’s film, “Get Out” shattered the record for the highest grossing directorial debut. We are thrilled that Jordan is going to focus on directing, writing and producing, but we will most certainly miss his amazing Barack Obama impersonations!

February 1st

Janet Jackson

‘The baby of the Jackson family of musicians’ and over the years ‘a multi-platinum selling artist’ – Janet Jackson has been a prominent personality in popular culture for over 30 years. The star is known for her innovative and sexually provocative music which is so powerful, even today. Her most popular singles include – “Nasty”, “That’s The Way Love Goes” and “Together Again” among her other works. The gorgeous singer has won many awards for her music including two Grammy Awards.

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