28 of the Best Black History 2023

Welcome to Black History Month and my annual 28 of the greatest people who’ve influenced my life!

  1. Jonathon Cooper-my brother and the best maintenance man in the city. Jay, who’s two years older than me, was my play buddy growing up and most of all, my friend. Thanks for being a great big brother.
  2. Lois Curtis-advocate and plaintiff who won her case in the Supreme Court. This led more states to allocate funding for people with disabilities to live in their own homes. Because of Lois’s efforts, I’m living independently and my best life!
  3. Joe Mixon-running back for the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals. I’m a Bengals’ fan and they are having a great season with the help of Joe!
  4. Patricia Hicks-owner of Outcomes Management Group Ltd, who’s all about the data to help improve diversity within an arena. Dr. Hicks is a great role model whom I’m honored to collaborate with.
  5. Kenny Walker-a childhood friend and a Cowboys fan who taught me to “shake things off” when it came to having a disability. I miss you. Continue to rest easy my friend.
  6. Mary McDonald-Mayor of Trotwood OH, a suburb of Dayton, that’s revitalizing the town and a board member of Goodwill Easterseals Miami Valley. Thanks for your services Mayor.
  7. Benjamin Crump-nationally known justice attorney. Thanks to Ben many are receiving justice.
  8. Wes Moore-first black governor of Maryland; proof you should never give up.
  9. Alena Analeigh-13-year-old accepted to medical school. Showing you can do anything at any age.
  10. Kane Brown-country music star. Thanks for making me like country music.
  11. Mike Tomlin-coach of the NFL’s Pittsburg Steelers. My favorite guy’s team.
  12. Lauren Lakes-judge on TV show, Paternity Court. Watching the show is one of my guilty pleasures.
  13. Jeffrey Mims Jr.-Mayor of Dayton, Ohio. Thanks for your service Mayor.
  14. Linda Watters-retired vice president at John Hancock, a financial institution. Linda is my cousin and a great role model.
  15. Gina McFarlane-EL-Chief Executive Officer of Five Rivers Health Centers. Thanks to Five Rivers, I found a great doctor and dentist.
  16. Stephen “Twich” Boss-was an American hip hop dancer and Ellen DeGeneres’ sidekick, plus a husband, dad, and much much more. It was a joy to watch him dance. Rest easy Twitch.
  17. Patti LaBelle-an American singer, songwriter, actress and businesswoman. Patti’s song If Only You Knew is one of my favorites.
  18. Obi Toppin-an American former professional basketball player. Played college basketball as a power forward for the University of Dayton “Flyers”. As a freshman was named Atlantic 10 Rookie of the year leading his team in scoring. Thanks for making the Flyers, great.
  19. Donald Galloway-advocate for people with disabilities and for the inclusion of people of color in the disability rights movement. Thanks, Mr. Galloway, for helping pave a path for me.
  20. Ketanji Brown Jackson-first black woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Made me proud to be a black woman!
  21. Nia Long-an American actress. Recently enjoyed watching her works in The Best Man: The Final Chapters.
  22. Frederick Douglass-was an American writer. Frederick motivates me to write.
  23. Clay Dixon-served as City Commissioner and Mayor of Dayton, Ohio. Thanks for your service.
  24. Dion Sanders-only athlete to play in both a Super Bowl and World Series. Dion is not only a great athlete but coach who led Jackson State to their first undefeated regular season and two consecutive Celebration Bowl appearances. Thanks Coach “Primetime” for putting HBCU’s on the map.
  25. Letitia Wright-portraited the female Black Panther in the movie, Wakanda Forever. Proving girls can be anything they want to be.
  26. Elaine Bryant-first black female police chief of Columbus, OH. Thanks for keeping the city safe.
  27. Fatica D. Ayers-Policy Analyst/Planner for the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council. Fatica is an exceptional advocate whom I’d had the pleasure of collaborating with. She makes Ohio better for people with disabilities.
  28. Jerome Haney-guest-blogger and employee of GESMV. Thanks for sharing your story on why men should listen to their bodies and go see their doctor.

Hope you have enjoyed my list. Let me encourage you to create your own as we celebrate Black History Month!

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