Black People Who Made History In The Past Year

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In the past year alone, Black people have broken barriers and made history in American politics, business, sports, entertainment, and more.

2022 was a historic year in many different sectors. Ketanji Brown Jackson was sworn in as the first Black woman Supreme Court Justice. Harvard University hired Claudine Gay, the first Black president in the nearly 386-year history.

In honor of Black History Month, keep scrolling to learn more about the Black history-makers of the past year.


Politics & Government

Kyra Bolden

Bolden made history this year when she was sworn in as Michigan’s first Black woman Supreme Court justice. Her historic appointment to the Michigan Supreme Court made headlines as she is also the great-granddaughter of lynching victim Jesse Lee Bond. Bolden said the injustice drove her to pursue a career in the justice system.

Jaylen Smith

Within the past year, Smith, an 18-year-old who graduated high school in May 2022, became the youngest mayor in America. He was elected over Nemi Matthews in Earle, Arkansas. As mayor of Earle, Smith promised to improve public safety, tear down abandoned houses, and open up a local grocery.


Malika Andrews

Malika Andrews made history as the first woman to host the NBA draft. The ESPN personality joined the likes of Jay Bilas, Kendrick Perkins, Adrian Wojnarowski, Bobby Marks, and Mike Schmitz while covering the 2022 draft at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

LeBron James

In the past year, LeBron James became the highest-paid NBA player in history after agreeing to a two-year, $97.1 million extension with the Los Angeles Lakers. With the new contract, James has racked up $532 million in guaranteed career earnings.


Ava DuVernay

In December, Ben & Jerry’s announced that Ava DuVernay was getting her own flavor! A new ice cream pint called “Lights! Caramel! Action! directed by Ava DuVernay” will feature a depiction of DuVernay on its container, making her the first Black woman to be on a Ben & Jerry’s pint.


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Solange Knowles

Within the past year, multi-hyphenate entertainer Solange Knowles landed a historic role as a ballet composer. The New York City Ballet announced in August that Knowles has been tapped to compose the music for its Fall Fashion Gala. It was the first time a Black woman ever composed a score for a production in the Ballet.


Olamide Olowe

The founder and CEO of Topicals, one of the fastest-growing skincare brands on the market, made history as the youngest Black woman to ever raise more than $2 million in venture funding at just 26 years old. Olowe, 26, broke barriers as the skincare brand announced a $10 million financing round led by CAVU Consumer Partners.

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