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Celebrating the Originals in Black History

Hey Prüvit Community!

As we wrap up Black History Month, The Prüvit community would like to recognize, honor, and celebrate those diligent and dynamic individuals who have helped shape history through their actions, words, and principles. These are true Originals and have guided the trajectory of the United States of America and our modern-day society.  As we continue to grow as a nation, may these people serve as role models and examples of leaders and icons in the ever-constant pursuit of BETTER.

While it is impossible to list all of the remarkable people who have contributed to taking us where we are today, we have gathered some of the best influences in Black History, who Inspire us to be BETTER

Michelle and Barack Obama, First Black President and First Lady of the United States of America

“The future rewards those who press on. I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself. I don’t have time to complain. I’m going to press on.” – Barack

“One of the lessons that I grew up with was to always stay true to yourself and never let what somebody else says distract you from your goals. And so when I hear about negative and false attacks, I really don’t invest any energy in them because I know who I am. ” – Michelle

Bessie Coleman, first black civilian to get a Pilots license

“I refused to take no for an answer.”

Clarence Thomas, Judge, lawyer, and government official who currently serves as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court

“Good manners will open doors that the best education cannot.”

Constance Baker Motley, Civil Rights Activist, Lawyer, Judge, State Senator who was the first black woman to become a Judge

“If people are informed, they will do the right thing. It’s when they are not informed that they become hostages to prejudice.”

Ester Jones, Black singer and entertainer of the late 1920s

Remember the iconic Betty Boop? She was modeled after singer Esther Jones who was know for her “baby” style of singing.

Frederick Douglass, Social Reformer, Abolitionist, Writer, and Statesman

“I prayed for twenty years but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.”

Gwendolyn Brooks, American Poet, Author, and Teacher who was the first black Pulitzer Prize Winner

“Live not for Battles Won. Live not for The-End-of-the-Song. Live in the along.”

Harriet Tubman, Leader of people, American abolitionist, humanitarian, and an armed scout and spy for the United States Army during the American Civil War

“I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.”

Jackie Robinson, First black Major League Baseball Player

“A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”

Langston Hughes, American Poet, Novelist, and Playwright

“I have discovered in life that there are ways of getting almost anywhere you want to go, if you really want to go.”

Madam CJ Walker, First American woman to become a self-made millionaire 

“Don’t sit down and wait for opportunities to come. Get up and make them.”

Mahalia Jackson, American gospel singer, “The Queen of Gospel”

“Tell ‘em about the dream, Martin!”

(This statement was repeated by “Halie” during Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech and likely served as the inspiration for this famous improvisation that helped paint the picture of equality.

Onesimus, Medical pioneer and former slave

While no quote or image can be found, we felt it was necessary to note this true original who brought with him the original inoculation process from African tradition and saved countless lives from smallpox. This same process is emulated in modern day vaccinations”

Martin Luther King Jr., Civil Rights leader, Activist, and Preacher

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

Muhammad Ali, Heavyweight Champion, Social Activist, and Philanthropist 

“I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was.”

Oprah Winfrey, Media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”

Dr. Ralph J. Bunche, First black Nobel Peace Prize Recipient 

“To make our way, we must have firm resolve, persistence, tenacity. We must gear ourselves to work hard all the way. We can never let up.”

Rosa Parks, Civil rights activist

“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.”

Ruth Simmons, First black Ivy League President

“It’s very important in a leadership role not to place your ego at the foreground and not to judge everything in relationship to how your ego is fed.”

Thurgood Marshall, Civil Rights Advocate & the first African-American Supreme Court Justice

“In recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute.”

As you reflect on the impact these people had on the lives of those around them and beyond, remember that you, too, are creating your own history. Only you have the power to change the world for the BETTER. Continue to tap into courage, innovation, kindness, and respect as you lift others up in the journey toward human optimization. After all, as Michelle Obama says, “When they go low, we go high.”


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