✨inspirations from 10 black legendary visionaries

As February comes to a close, we want to take this time to shine a light on black history month. In this post, we will honor and uplift a few of the many black dreamers and visionaries who inspired, persevered, and made history.

TAM is a black-owned and woman-led company with an appreciation for all those who paved the way for us. In order to continue chasing down our dreams and fulfilling the curiosities of tomorrow, we are honored to reflect on the works and legacies of the amazing leaders of the past.

What does it mean to be a visionary?

A visionary is someone with the outstanding capability to see things and plan for things that aren't yet in existence. They are creatives in their truest form, first creating through their minds. In many cases, they have the wisdom to create things that the world needs. We have highlighted 10 black visionaries who have the gift of envisioning and the determination to bring that vision to life no matter the obstacles.

Martin Luther King Jr.

Key civil rights activist and minister Dr. Martin Luther King is a visionary we proudly honor. From his famous "I have a dream speech" to the countless hours of fighting for civil rights until the day he died, Dr. King inspires us to never give up on our vision. He is an example of fighting for what you believe in. Check out this motivating speech from Dr. King where he explains the importance of having a life blueprint.

Alvin Ailey

The talented dancer, director, activist, and choreographer had a vision for a safe place for black artists to express themselves through dance. The Alvin Ailey Dance Theater was founded in 1958 and Alvin Ailey himself choreographed close to 80 ballets. He has also performed for more than 20 million people worldwide. Get inspired by the movements of dancers at the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater by visiting the website.

Maya Angelou

Best known for her autobiography "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" and her famous poem "Still I rise", Maya Angelou is not just a brilliant writer, but an illustration of courage and wisdom. Her works have provided inspiration to many writers and non-writers alike and her legacy will live on. Click to watch a live performance of Maya Angelou herself reciting her poem "Still I Rise".

James Baldwin

The esteemed writer and activist who expressed his ideas through words with pen and paper is a true visionary. He was known to write about race in America in a way that was impassioned and honest. His popular book of Essays "The fire next time" gives a warning of the effects of racism. His clear communication and ability to express what he thinks with a high level of clarity is the mark of a visionary in touch with their ideas.

Jean-Michel Basquiat

The artist that started doing graffiti on the streets of New York became globally known for his expressive works. Bursting with color and unique style, Jean-Michel Basquiat became well known in the art world. Even after death, this visionary, with the power to create timeless pieces of artwork, continues to impress us with its flawlessness and for that we honor him. To learn more about his life and legacy, click here.

Aretha Franklin

The "Queen of Soul", Aretha Franklin was a musically talented star that brought music to the world in a whole new way. Her powerful voice has been heard globally. Her popular songs such as "Respect" and "A Natural Woman" are still popular today. Aretha Franklin's life was not without challenges but through it all, she still created music that has become her legacy. So, have some R.E.S.P.E.C.T and watch Aretha Franklin's live performance in 1991.

Shirley Chisholm

Politician, author, and activist, Shirley Chisholm was the first African American Congresswoman. She was also one of the founding members of the congressional black caucus. Shirley was a visionary who teaches us all a valuable lesson: many times, visionaries are the first to do something. She was brave, intelligent, and an inspiration. To learn more about Shirley Chisholm, click here.

Nikki Giovanni

Poet and Activist Nikki Giovanni is a visionary whose words have resonated with so many people. One of her most known poems, "Nikki-Rosa" has been adorned and loved by many. Her words are able to encapsulate moments in time and transport you as if you were there. Check out her performance of "Nikki-Rosa".

Frederick Douglass

Abolitionist, writer, and orator, Frederick Douglass is a visionary who teaches us that no matter the circumstances you began with, you are still allowed to dream. His antislavery writings and his works to help liberate the oppressed are all a part of his legacy. Without visionaries who are willing to speak up and stand up, our dreams can only remain dreams. Dig into the life of Frederick Douglas a bit more by clicking here.

Sidney Poitier

Actor and director, Sidney Poitier is a visionary who was best known for his role in the 5-time academy award-winning movie "In the Heat of The Night". Sidney Poitier opened a door for black actors. He is an inspiration who certainly helped pave the way for black actors who came after him and created a shift in the film industry. Check out a clip from "In the Heat of The Night" by clicking here.

It is with complete inspiration, admiration, and honor that we look back and celebrate the voices, works, and people who have come before us to make everything we have now possible. The ten visionaries above are those who we can look to and learn from. We also celebrate and uplift the outstanding visionaries who are not listed. Leave the name of a black visionary who isn't listed in the comments so we can keep celebrating even after black history month.

Before you go, remember sharing is caring. So, if you enjoyed this post share it with someone you care about!

- TAM Team

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