Great Black History Month Speakers
Black History Month is here. If your group would benefit from the perspective of a Black History Month speaker, we have assembled a great list of highly-accomplished individuals from government and business to media and even sports for you to consider bringing to your next event or meeting stage.
TOP BLACK HISTORY MONTH SPEAKERS
- Nadja West, First African American Army Surgeon General and Former Commanding General, US Army Medical Command
- Reggie Fils-Aimé, Former President and COO of Nintendo of America Inc.
- Chief Carmen Best, Former Chief of Police in Seattle, WA
- Carla Harris, Vice Chairman Of Global Wealth Management & Senior Client Advisor At Morgan Stanley
- Dr. Hakeem Oluseyi, Astrophysicist, Space Science Education Lead for NASA, & Inspirational Speaker
- Sekou Andrews, Creator of “Poetic Voice” & Inspirational Speaker
- Jonathan Capehart, Journalist & Television Personality
- Amy Holmes, Acclaimed Political Commentator & Host of PBS' In Principle
- Anthony Foxx, Former US Secretary of Transportation
- Ashley Farmer, Assistant Professor, History & African & African Diaspora Studies, University of Texas-Austin
- Maurice Ashley, First African-American Chess Grandmaster, Analyst, Commentator and Emcee
- Laila Ali, Mom, Wife, Boxing Champion and Elite Athlete, Fitness & Nutrition Expert, TV Host, Beauty and Lifestyle Brand CEO, Actress, Advocate for Women and Children, & Author
- Greg Gadson, Decorated Army Commander & New York Giants Honorary Captain
- Reggie Rivers, Former Denver Bronco, Media Personality, Author, and Motivational Speaker
- Donna Brazile, Renowned Political Strategist & Commentator and Former Interim Chair of the DNC
- Bakari Sellers, CNN Analyst and Former Representative from South Carolina
- Vernice Armour, American’s First African American Female Combat Pilot
- Chris Gardner, Founder of Brokerage Firm Gardner Rich & Inspiration for the Hollywood Film, The Pursuit of Happyness
- Crystal Washington, Nationally-Recognized Social Media Marketing Specialist
- Shellye Archambeau, Former Chief Executive Officer, MetricStream
- Gianno Caldwell, Fox News Political Analyst & Founder of Caldwell Strategic Consulting
- Earvin Magic Johnson, Legendary NBA Player
- Daymond John, Founder of FUBU & Star of ABC's Hit Show, Shark Tank
- Kimberly Bryant, Founder & CEO of Black Girls CODE and Aspen Institute Fellow
- Dr. Myron Rolle, Former NFL Player, Neurosurgeon, and Humanitarian
- Lauren DeLisa Coleman, Digi-Cultural Trend Analyst, MSNBC Commentator, Forbes Contributor, & Inc. Columnist
- Dusty Baker, Legendary Baseball Player and Former Manager of the Washington Nationals
- Mo Elleithee, Former Communications Director of the Democratic National Committee (DNC)
- Ambassador Ron Kirk, Former US Trade Representative & US Political Insider
- Jamal Simmons, Democratic Strategist & Political Commentator
- Lauren Simmons, Youngest Trader, Only Female and Second-Ever African American Woman at the New York Stock Exchange
- Jessica O. Matthews, Innovator and CEO, Uncharted Power
- Linda Johnson Rice, Chairman and CEO of Johnson Publishing Company | Former Chairman Emeritus of Ebony Media Operations
- Antoinette Clarke, Author, two-time Emmy Award-winning television producer and the SVP of Branded Entertainment and Media Innovation at ViacomCBS
- Tricia Clarke-Stone, Entrepreneur, Former CEO, Author, Award-winning Marketer
Keep reading to learn more about each of these fabulous and diverse speakers and click on the links below to browse through each of their individual speaker profile pages and find out more about their speaking topics and expertise.
First African American Army Surgeon General and Former Commanding General, US Army Medical Command
A trailblazer in female leadership, Lieutenant General (ret) Nadja West is the 44th Army Surgeon General and the former Commanding General of US Army Medical Command. She is the first African American woman 3-star General in the Army’s history, and currently the highest-ranking woman to ever graduate from West Point. | See more on Nadja West.
Former President and COO of Nintendo of America Inc.
An award-winning innovator and disruptor, Reggie Fils-Aimé is a proven expert on transforming companies, re-vitalizing brands, and reshaping industries to solve daunting challenges and achieve ‘the impossible.’ Most recently, he was the president and chief operating officer of Nintendo of America – the first American and African-American to hold this position. | See more on Reggie Fils-Aimé
Former Chief of Police in Seattle, WA
The first African-American woman to hold the top policing job in Seattle, Washington, Chief Carmen Best (Ret.) served with the Seattle Police Department for 28 years. In 2018, Best was promoted to Chief of Police, a job she called “a dream of a lifetime,” managing approximately 2,000 sworn and civilian employees. Best quickly began efforts to diversify the police force, which had long been less diverse than the city, recruiting more than 40 new officers of color. | See more on Carmen Best.
Vice Chairman Of Global Wealth Management & Senior Client Advisor At Morgan Stanley
Carla Harris is the Vice Chairman of Global Wealth Management and Senior Client Advisor at Morgan Stanley, who talks audiences through “Carla’s Pearls,” her evergreen wisdom for getting ahead. Carla Harris speaks powerfully about the proven strategies that have helped her get ahead on Wall Street. With this presentation, she shares her hard-won "Pearls" to help audiences maximize their chance for success in the seat they are sitting in as well as their odds of reaching the seat they aspire to sit in. | See more on Carla Harris.
Astrophysicist, Space Science Education Lead for NASA, & Inspirational Speaker
Dr. Hakeem Oluseyi is a renowned scientist who has worked on Nobel Prize-winning teams and created 12 patents globally on manufacturing computer chips. He shares his powerful story of overcoming class and race barriers to become a leading astrophysicist, educator, and advocate. | See more on Dr. Hakeem Oluseyi.
Creator of “Poetic Voice” & Inspirational Speaker
Sekou Andrews is the creator of the “Poetic Voice” who helps groups rethink their strategies and embrace creative, innovative, and disruptive thinking and behavior. Sekou disrupted what a conventional keynote speaker looks like and is a true unicorn in the industry. Powerful and with a unique ability to connect with audiences, Sekou’s motivational speeches are more performance than keynote speech and are each 100% customized. He grabs the audience through an emotional and intellectual connection while packing his performance with takeaways on the power of storytelling and the need to stay ahead of your industry’s emerging trends. At a recent speech in Vegas, Sekou kept getting interrupted by applauses because so many attendees just got into it. | See more on Sekou Andrews.
Journalist & Television Personality
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jonathan Capehart is a member of The Washington Post editorial board, writes about politics and social issues for the PostPartisan blog, and hosts the Post’s “Cape Up” podcast. He is also an MSNBC Contributor who regularly serves as a substitute anchor. Known for his insightful, hard-hitting reporting and writing, as well as his eloquent, witty, and thought-provoking commentary. | See more on Jonathan Capehart.
Acclaimed Political Commentator & Host of PBS' In Principle
Amy Holmes is a familiar face with an unconventional voice in political news. As an on-air political analyst, Amy dissects and debates the issues of the day, appearing regularly on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News and PBS. She is co-host of the new PBS weekly show In Principle, where she will be conducting serious, thought provoking, in-depth interviews with the nation's leading thinkers and newsmakers. | See more on Amy Holmes.
Former US Secretary of Transportation
Sec. Anthony Foxx is a digital cities and Internet of Things (IoT) visionary. While he was Secretary of Transportation, Foxx launched the Smart City Challenge, a national competition to embrace data-driven ideas in transportation. He also worked with companies like Tesla and Uber on developing guidelines for autonomous cars. He speaks to the ways our cities and businesses will change as a result of AI and robotics. | See more on Anthony Foxx.
Assistant Professor, History & African & African Diaspora Studies, University of Texas-Austin
Ashley Farmer is a well-known historian as well as an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at Austin. As a contributor to The Washington Post, The Independent, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and Public Books, she is well-versed in making historical issues and concepts accessible to the general public. | See more on Ashley Farmer.
First African-American Chess Grandmaster, Analyst, Commentator and Emcee
Maurice Ashley made history in 1999 when he became the first African-American chess grandmaster. He is a three-time national championship coach, author of Chess for Success: Using an Old Game to Build New Strengths in Children and Teens, ESPN commentator, iPhone app designer, puzzle inventor, and motivational speaker. | See more on Maurice Ashley.
Boxing Champion and Elite Athlete, Fitness & Nutrition Expert, TV Host and Cooking Enthusiast, Beauty and Lifestyle Brand CEO, Actress, Advocate for Women and Children, & Author
Laila Ali is a four-time boxing world champion, fitness and nutrition expert, TV host, cooking enthusiast, founder of the Laila Ali Lifestyle Brand and mother of two. She motivates young women to find their strength, spirit, and power from within and uses her life experiences as examples of how to achieve success through courage, passion, and a positive mindset. | See more on Laila Ali.
Decorated Army Commander & New York Giants Honorary Captain
Retired US Colonel Greg Gadson has survived the very worst of war, but this highly-decorated American soldier has not been defeated by unfortunate circumstances. Gadson speaks with fervor about the crucial role teamwork and camaraderie play when facing life’s obstacles. He applies his story of personal adversity to every level of an organization, showing how every team depends on every one of its players. | See more on Greg Gadson.
Former Denver Bronco, Media Personality, Author, and Motivational Speaker
Reggie Rivers is a renaissance man whose talents and achievements have spanned many different disciplines. He’s a former NFL running back, a media personality, a business owner, an author, and a motivational speaker, master of ceremonies, and auctioneer. Reggie entered the NFL as a classic underdog—an undrafted rookie free agent and a longshot to make a team. But he managed to win a roster spot with the Denver Broncos and stayed with the team for six seasons. | See more on Reggie Rivers.
Renowned Political Strategist & Commentator and Former Interim Chair of the DNC
Political Strategist, Donna Brazile, is the former interim chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), as well as a, professor, author, and commentator. She was also the first African American woman to manage a US presidential campaign. Her southern charm, big personality, and hilarious anecdotes make her an instant audience favorite. She is known for her ability to expertly analyze the political climate and the driving factors behind it. | See more on Donna Brazile.
CNN Analyst & Former US Representative From South Carolina
Bakari Sellers is the youngest-ever member of the South Carolina state legislature and offers passionate political and social commentary and analysis informed by first-hand experience. As a rising voice in the Democratic party, he is a great speaker to provide insights into the current political landscape. | See more on Bakari Sellers.
American’s 1st African American Female Combat Pilot
Vernice "FlyGirl" Amour talks about how after the Combat Exclusion Policy was overturned by the Pentagon in 1994, she came across a female pilot at an ROTC career day and a dream was first born. She went on to become a Captain, serve two tours in Iraq, and write the book, Zero to Breakthrough: The 7-Step Battle-tested Method for Accomplishing Goals That Matter. | See more on Vernice Armour.
Founder of Brokerage Firm Gardner Rich & Inspiration for the Hollywood Film, The Pursuit of Happyness
Chris Gardner is the author of the 2006 autobiography, The Pursuit of Happyness, a New York Times and Washington Post #1 best-seller that has been translated into over forty languages. Gardner is also the inspiration for the acclaimed movie The Pursuit of Happyness for which Will Smith, starring as Gardner, received Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, and Academy Award nominations for his performance. | See more on Chris Gardner.
Nationally-Recognized Social Media Marketing Specialist
Crystal Washington is a social media and tech trends guru who helps teams fuel growth and sales by using technology to enhance interpersonal relationships. She uses her insights in social media and trends to explain how your company can use the current technology to remain innovative. In her talk, among other things, she explains what the current internet landscape means for recruitment, client engagement, and brand differentiation. | See more on Crystal Washington.
Former Chief Executive Officer, MetricStream
Shellye Archambeau has proven global business expertise combined with public policy passion. She shares her powerful personal story of overcoming the odds to achieve enormous success, and provides audiences with the four-step framework she has used throughout her entire life to achieve happiness and prosperity in her personal and professional lives. | See more on Shellye Archambeau.
Fox News Political Analyst & Founder of Caldwell Strategic Consulting
Gianno Caldwell frequently provides analysis and commentary on Fox News Channel, Fox Business Channel, CNN, HLN, BET, TV One, as well as various national news networks. He is also a contributor to The Hill Newspaper. His opinions are sought out on a wide variety of topics including domestic policy, the economy, and Congress. | See more on Gianno Caldwell.
Legendary NBA Player
Having left the basketball court for the boardroom, Earvin “Magic” Johnson has successfully parlayed his skills and tenacity from the court into the business world as Chairman and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises (MJE). MJE provides high-quality products and services that focus primarily on ethnically diverse and underserved urban communities. | See more on Earvin Magic Johnson.
Founder of FUBU & Star of ABC's Hit Show, Shark Tank
A young entrepreneur, industry pioneer, highly-regarded marketing expert and a man who has surpassed new heights of commercial and financial success are just a few ways people have described Daymond John. He is the founder of FUBU and Star of ABC’s hit show, Shark Tank, who inspires audiences to achieve the impossible by cultivating the goal-setting mentality he’s used all his life. Over the last 20 years, Daymond John (The Shark) has evolved from one of the most successful fashion icons of his generation to a highly-sought after branding expert, author, consultant, and as a speaker in business and motivational genres. From guerrilla marketing and branding techniques, to using cutting-edge innovation with social media, he is one of the top business strategists. Daymond provides attendees with proven tips on negotiating, boosting sales, and increasing productivity within the team. | See more on Daymond John.
Founder & CEO of Black Girls CODE and Aspen Institute Fellow
Coming from humble beginnings, Kimberly Bryant is no stranger to hard work. As a young girl, she developed an uncommon passion for math and science which eventually lead her to the prestigious Vanderbilt University where she majored in Electrical Engineering and minored in Math. Often being the only minority in her classes, she entered the work force in the same predicament. This disconnect continued into her professional life and eventually broached her personal life. Kimberly’s daughter, Kai, inherited the same interest in math and science and the same lack of access to opportunities in the tech space as young girl of color. So, in 2011, Kimberly founded Black Girls CODE, a non-profit organization dedicated to “changing the face of technology” by introducing girls of color (ages seven to seventeen) to the field of technology and computer science with a concentration on entrepreneurial concepts. As Oprah describes, Black Girls CODE is “the first organization of its kind.” | See more on Kimberly Bryant.
Former NFL Player, Neurosurgeon, and Humanitarian
Sports enthusiasts and intellectuals alike know Dr. Myron Laurent Rolle as a gifted athlete, scholar and philanthropist. Born on October 30, 1986 in Houston, Texas to Whitney and Beverly Rolle of the Bahamas, Dr. Rolle grew up in Galloway, New Jersey as the youngest of five brothers, including Marchant, Marvis, Mordecai and Mckinley. | See more on Dr. Myron Rolle.
Digi-Cultural Trend Analyst, MSNBC Commentator, Forbes Contributor, & Inc. Columnist
A successful digi-cultural trend analyst, author, speaker, consultant, and digital entrepreneur with over 14 years of experience working for notables from Snoop Dogg and Jay Z to Microsoft executives, Lauren DeLisa Coleman, is an expert at deciphering and forecasting power trends and public sentiment within the intersection of popular culture and emerging tech and the impact of such on business and governance. She helps brands and politicos understand how to create messaging that better resonates with today’s tech-savvy, pop culture millennials consumers/constituents by providing forecast and analysis on cultural trends, attitudes, and behavior as it all intersects with emerging tech usage. | See more on Lauren DeLisa Coleman.
Legendary Baseball Player and Former Manager of the Washington Nationals
Johnnie B. “Dusty” Baker Jr. is an American former Major League Baseball manager and retired all-star Major League baseball player. A legend in baseball, Dusty Baker is the only three-time Major League Baseball Manager of the Year in Major League history, a former All-Star as a baseball player, and a former US Marine. Dusty Baker’s record-setting career as a Major League Baseball manager is legendary—Dusty was the first National League manager to earn the revered "Manager of the Year" honors three times, in 1993, 1997, and 2002 (he also finished third in 2016). Dusty is bilingual keynote speaker—who is fluent in both English and Spanish—who talks on leadership, teamwork, motivation, and success. Dusty is an accomplished and versatile inspirational authority who now shares his love and skill with the sport for all, Dusty easily connects with his audience by sharing candid stories of his life experiences. His gift for relating his fascinating life experiences—both on and off the field—have been enjoyed by audiences all over the country. | See more on Dusty Baker.
Former Communications Director of the Democratic National Committee (DNC)
Mo Elleithee is the former communications director of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the founding executive director of Georgetown University’s Institute of Politics and Public Service, who illuminates the current state of politics by giving audiences an insider’s glimpse into the workings of Washington, DC. | See more on Mo Elleithee.
Former US Trade Representative & US Political Insider
Ambassador Ron Kirk is the former United States trade representative (USTR), the former mayor of Dallas, and the first African American to fill those roles. With nearly 20 influential years in politics and as a respected member of President Obama’s Cabinet, he was the principal advisor, negotiator, and spokesperson on trade issues and an important member of the economics team. He is now frequently sought-after for his expertise on politics and trade and can be seen nationwide on top-tier media outlets. | See more on Amb. Ron Kirk.
Democratic Strategist & Political Commentator
Jamal Simmons, a well-known and experienced Democratic strategist and political commentator, is a principal at The Raben Group, a Washington, DC consulting firm, where he provides communications and strategic counsel to corporate and non-profit clients. | See more on Jamal Simmons.
Youngest Trader, Only Female and Second-Ever African American Woman at the New York Stock Exchange
Lauren Simmons shares her story of becoming the youngest and second-ever African American woman equity trader at the NYSE at just 22 years old. She was named to Harper’s Bazaar’s “Woman Who Dare” 2019 list and is executive producing her biopic, starring Kiersey Clemons. Simmons is also the host of “Going Public” – a new financial TV series on Entrepreneur.com. | See more on Lauren Simmons.
Innovator and CEO, Uncharted Power
Jessica O. Matthews founded an award-winning power and data infrastructure tech company at just 22 years old and went on to be listed on over 10 patents and patents pending, including her first invention of the SOCCKET, an energy generating soccer ball. She has been recognized as Fortune’s Most Promising Women Entrepreneurs, 30 Under 30 list for Forbes and Inc., and Scientist of the Year by Harvard University and inspires audiences to use innovation and tech disruption to power the needs of people, businesses, and communities worldwide. | See more on Jessica O. Matthews.
Chairman and CEO of Johnson Publishing Company | Former Chairman Emeritus of Ebony Media Operations
Linda Johnson Rice shares invaluable lessons, she’s gained by building a world-renowned business brand, as well as her view of how far we’ve come as a nation and where we go from here. Over the past 30 years, Linda has served on 10 corporate boards and has been featured in Chicago Sun-Times' list of Chicago’s 100 Most Powerful Women and the Top 10 Women in Media. | See more on Linda Johnson Rice.
Author, two-time Emmy Award-winning television producer and the SVP of Branded Entertainment and Media Innovation at ViacomCBS
Antoinette Clarke is a two-time Emmy Award-winning television producer and former Supervising Producer & Producer for a variety of award-winning talk shows with hosts Montel Williams, Tyra Banks, Rachael Ray, and Nate Berkus. She uses expert marketing knowledge to develop ideation, pitching, selling, negotiating, developing and activating strategic branded content and advertiser partnerships across multiple platforms for the CBS Daytime slate of shows and specials. | See more on Antoinette Clarke.
Entrepreneur, Former CEO, Author, Award-winning Marketer
Tricia Clarke-Stone has created over 100 digital, social, experiential and immersive campaigns for blue chip brands and startups like Under Armour, JCPenney, Samsung, Toyota, P&G, and Universal Pictures. She is the cofounder and former CEO of WP Narrative, an award-winning creative and tech agency and has been featured in the New York Times, Fast Company, Elle, USA Today, Marie Claire, Forbes, and Fortune. Clarke-Stone has frequently enlisted to share her expertise at numerous conferences discussing marketing, tech, entertainment, culture, and retail and has built an innovation lab focused on leveraging emerging technology to develop culturally-focused products, platforms, IP and patents for a variety of brands and partners. | See more on Tricia Clarke-Stone.
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Interested in seeing more of the African American speakers we represent?
- Check out a list of our top-booked African American speakers here.
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- Learn more about African American speakers leading the way here.
We encourage you to browse through our full African American speaker list and click on any of the speaker's names and photos to view each of their individual speaker profile pages and read more about their expertise and speaking topics.
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