Prominent African American & Black Speakers For Every Meeting Type
Leading Authorities speakers bureau represents some of the most prominent and most popular African American motivational speakers, media personalities, well-known political strategists, members of the US Congress, sports legends, best-selling authors, technology gurus, and more. Our team strives to connect Fortune 500 companies, leading professional organizations, non-profits, associations, academic institutions, and civic groups with the most sought-after speakers and talent, and our roster of African American talent celebrates the importance of diversity within modern society.
The best part? The diverse roster of leading black talent we represent are the perfect fit for a wide variety of different events, topics, themes, and budgets. So, whether you need a speaker for your Black History Month event, are looking for a black political strategist with the know-how to steer candidates to success, or would like to hear from an inspiring and motivational person who faced extreme adversity in their life and came out successful against all the odds.
So, if you want to keep audiences talking long after your event with the experience our African American speakers bring to the stage, we’ve for you covered no matter what kind of event you are planning on hosting and what kind of keynote speaker you are looking to bring to your next event stage.
We’ve assembled a few handy curated lists of the most prominent and profound African American speakers who cover the most popular and biggest trending topics broken into categories by their speaking topic and area of focus for meetings in 2019 and 2020.
These curated speaker lists will get you started with ideas on how you can inspire your audience, spark creativity, or help bring positive energy to your organization.
Here’s a list of the most motivational and inspirational African American speakers and talent who share their incredible personal stories and moving messages with audiences around the world for you to consider for any upcoming meetings or events:
- Laila Ali: A 4-time undefeated boxing world champion who tells personal stories of breaking into a male-dominated sport
- Chris Gardner: New York Times best-selling author and inspiration for the Hollywood film, The Pursuit of Happyness, who makes audiences laugh and cry as he talks about his journey from homelessness to Wall Street
- Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour: The first African American female combat pilot who offers her “get gutsy” advice for developing a “zero to breakthrough” mentality
- Greg Gadson: A highly-decorated US Army Commander and New York Giants honorary Captain who shares the keys to staying motivated despite hardship
- Dusty Baker: A legendary all-star Major League baseball player, three-time National League Manager of The Year winner, and a former US Marine who talks on leadership, teamwork, motivation, and success
- Hakeem Oluseyi: Astrophysicist, Space Science Education Lead for NASA, and inspirational speaker who moves audiences to overcome any barrier to success
- Dominique Dawes: A three-time Olympic Gymnast, Olympic Gold Medalist, and the first African American Gymnast to qualify for the Olympic Games
- Dr. Sampson Davis, Physician & Inspirational Leader
4-Time Undefeated Boxing World Champion, Fitness & Nutrition Expert, TV Host, Beauty and Lifestyle Brand Founder & CEO, Actress, Author, Advocate for Women & Children, & Speaker
Laila Ali is a four-time undefeated boxing world champion, fitness and nutrition expert, TV host, cooking enthusiast, founder and CEO of the Laila Ali Lifestyle Brand, author, advocate for women and children, and mother of two. In keynote talks, Laila tells personal stories of breaking into a male-dominated sport. 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 here.
New York Times Best-Selling Author & Inspiration For the Film, The Pursuit of Happyness
Chris Gardner is a New York Times and Washington Post #1 best-selling author of the 2006 autobiography, The Pursuit of Happyness, who makes audiences laugh and cry as he talks about his journey from homelessness to Wall Street. Gardner is also the inspiration for the Golden Globe and Academy Award-nominated movie, The Pursuit of Happyness, starring Will Smith as Gardner, which has received Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, and Academy Award nominations and awards. The acclaimed film features Gardner’s story of going from homelessness to Wall Street. In keynote presentations, Gardner talks about the three most important decisions he ever made, why Plan B “sucks,” and his belief that you can always turn things around and leaves audiences around the country and across the globe feeling excited and inspired. | See more on Chris Gardner here.
First African American Female Combat Pilot
Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour is the first African American female combat pilot who offers her “get gutsy” advice for developing a “zero to breakthrough” mentality. She made history when she became the first African-American female combat pilot. Today, she draws upon her experience as a pioneer and delivers relevant advice on how to “breakthrough” in the workplace, as well as in your personal life. | See more on Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour here.
Highly-Decorated US Army Commander & New York Giants Honorary Captain
Greg Gadson is a highly-decorated US Army Commander and New York Giants honorary Captain who shares the keys to staying motivated despite hardship. Retired Colonel 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 here.
Legendary All-Star Major League Baseball Player, 3-Time National League Manager of The Year Winner, & Former US Marine
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 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 here.
Astrophysicist, Space Science Education Lead for NASA, and inspirational speaker who moves audiences to overcome any barrier to success
Hakeem Oluseyi is a renowned scientist, astrophysicist, and Space Science Education Lead for NASA who has worked on Nobel Prize-winning teams and created 12 patents globally on manufacturing computer chips. as well as an inspirational speaker who moves audiences to overcome any barrier to success. Hakeem grew up in some of the roughest neighborhood’s in this country; he changed schools roughly ten times in seven years. Living in chaotic circumstances led him to spend most of his time indoors reading and watching PBS nature shows. Discovering a love of science and a fascination with Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, Hakeem decided to teach himself these principles of science. He became determined to become a scientist and overcame incredible odds to earn three degrees: a Bachelor of Science in Physics and Mathematics from Tougaloo College, and a Masters and Ph.D. in Physics from Stanford University. After finishing up with school, Hakeem worked at one of Silicon Valley’s most successful companies and did research on manufacturing computer chips. Hakeem’s inventions can be found in the computer chips you use every day. Sharing his roller-coaster ride of success and the setbacks he faced along the way and his powerful story of overcoming class and race barriers to become a leading astrophysicist, educator, and advocate, he inspires audiences around the world to chase their dreams no matter how unlikely they may seem. | See more on Hakeem here.
Three-Time Olympic Gymnast, Olympic Gold Medalist, & First African American Gymnast to Qualify for the Olympic Games
From Olympic Gold Medalist to Broadway to television analyst to President of the Women’s Sports Foundation, Dominique Dawes continues on a path to inspire, motivate, and lead. Dominique Dawes is best known for her tremendous success as an Olympic gymnast who competed in three Olympic Games, (the 1992 Barcelona Games, the 1996 Atlanta Games, and the 2000 Sydney Games), won four Olympic medals, and has a permanent place in the U.S. Olympic Committee Hall of Fame. Fans across the nation and around the world remember her as a member of the gold-medal-winning "Magnificent Seven" at the 1996 Atlanta Games, where she also won a bronze medal as she wowed the crowd with her stunning performance in the floor exercise, becoming the first female African American gymnast to win an individual medal. She also earned a bronze medal with the U.S. team in the 1992 Barcelona Games and left an imprint in the sports world with her “back-to-back” tumbling pass. Dominique made a surprising comeback with an anticlimactic end in the 2000 Sydney Games. | See more on Dominique Dawes here.
Dr. Sampson Davis has had a true rags-to-riches journey, leaving audiences inspired and filled with motivation. Growing up in one of America’s toughest cities, he made the transition from life-threatening quarters to a highly sought-after professional speaker, best-selling author and specially skilled, life-saving physician. | See more on Dr. Sampson Davis.
Here’s a list of the most influential African American business leaders and CEOs who offer insights and share their biggest lessons learned for success in business with audiences around the world for you to consider for any upcoming meetings or events:
- Carla Harris: 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
- Daymond John: The founder of FUBU and the 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
- Earvin “Magic” Johnson: The Legendary NBA Player and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises who offers detailed advice to businesses and entrepreneurs hoping to make a lasting impact
- Shellye Archambeau: The former CEO of MetricStream, who shares her inspiring, personal four-step framework for success
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 here.
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 here.
Legendary NBA Player & CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises
Earvin “Magic” Johnson is the legendary NBA player and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises who offers detailed advice to businesses and entrepreneurs hoping to make a lasting impact. 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 Magic Johnson here.
Former Chief Executive Officer of MetricStream
Shellye Archambeau is the former CEO of MetricStream who shares her powerful personal story of overcoming the odds to achieve enormous success, and provides audiences with the four-step framework for success that she has used throughout her entire life to achieve happiness and prosperity in her personal and professional lives. Archambeau has proven global business expertise combined with public policy passion. | See more on Shelly Archambeau here.
Here’s a list of the most innovative and cutting-edge African American speakers who share insights on the newest emerging technologies, the latest tech trends, the biggest breakthroughs in innovation, and the disruptive impacts that these new technologies will have on every industry and line of business in the coming years with audiences around the world for you to consider for any upcoming meetings or events:
- Anthony Foxx: The former United States Secretary of Transportation, current Managing Partner with Related Infrastructure, and Digital Cities visionary who talks about the ways the Internet of Things will transform our lives
- Sekou Andrews: The creator of the “Poetic Voice” who helps groups rethink their strategies and embrace creative, innovative, and disruptive thinking and behavior
- Crystal Washington: A social media strategist and author who helps audiences use technology to strengthen client connections without losing that personal touch
- Lauren DeLise Coleman: A digi-cultural trend analyst, MSNBC commentator, Forbes contributor, and Inc. columnist who shares how to create messaging that better resonates with today’s tech-savvy, pop culture millennials consumers
Former United States Secretary of Transportation, Current Managing Partner With Related Infrastructure, & Digital Cities Visionary
Anthony Foxx, the former United States Secretary of Transportation, current Managing Partner with Related Infrastructure, and Digital Cities visionary, is a disruptive thinker known for shaking up the transportation industry and working to overcome barriers to change. In keynote speeches, he talks about game-changing ideas and re-framing our understanding of what’s possible and he addresses the ways the Internet of Things (IoT) will transform our lives. Foxx touches on everything from autonomous cars to connected cities (in rural areas too), and looks at integrated technology, the Internet of Things, sensors, and V2V (vehicle-to-vehicle) communication. He brings disruptive thinking and innovation to life by showing groups how radical ideas will realistically be put into practice in the coming years, and he encourages audiences to rethink their own strategies before a competitive disruptor does. | See more on Anthony Foxx here.
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 here.
Social Media Marketing Strategist & Tech Trends Expert
Crystal Washington is a social media marketing strategist, tech trends expert, and author who helps audiences use new emerging technology and social media platforms to strengthen client connections without losing that personal touch and drive more ROI from sales. She uses her insights in social media and tech trends to explain how your company can use the current technology to remain innovative and maintain relevance in your unique industry and marketplace. 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 here.
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 Lauren DeLisa Coleman here.
Here’s a list of the most highly-respected and balanced-minded African American political speakers who discuss the latest breaking stories in the news and provide exquisite analysis and commentary on the latest political issues of the day with audiences around the world for you to consider for any upcoming meetings or events:
- Jonathan Capehart: A Washington Post writer and MSNBC contributor who breaks down the issues that will define the months and years to come
- Amy Holmes: An acclaimed political commentator and host of PBS’s “In Principle” who gives audiences a humorous, edgy, and insightful overview of the political landscape
- Donna Brazile: A renowned political strategist and former Interim Chair of the DNC who analyses the hot political topics of the day using prized behind-the-scenes insight
- Bakari Sellers: A well-known CNN political analyst and former US Representative from South Carolina who offers passionate political and social commentary and analysis informed by first-hand experience
- Mo Elleithee: The former Communications Director of the DNC who illuminates the current state of politics by giving audiences an insider’s glimpse into the workings of Washington, DC
- Ambassador Ron Kirk: The former US Trade Representative and political insider who shares his expertise on politics and important trade issues in the news
- Jamal Simmons: A Democratic strategist and political commentator who provides entertaining and informative analysis to everything from healthcare and education to foreign policy and the economy
Revered Journalist and Television Personality
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Jonathan Capehart, is a renowned Washington Post writer and MSNBC contributor who breaks down the issues that will define the months and years to come. Jonathan is also 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. One of the most-influential LGBT people in media today, Capehart is known for his thought-provoking commentary on the major political and cultural news items of the day, including the big issues at the heart of conversations about diversity and inclusion. | See more on Jonathan Capehart here.
Acclaimed Political Commentator & Host Of The PBS Show, In Principle
Amy Holmes is an acclaimed political commentator and host of the new PBS show, In Principle, who gives audiences a humorous, edgy, and insightful overview of the political landscape. She takes audiences into the future of politics under the Trump administration and the most current political issues. Holmes shares her insider's view of Washington to explain what the political news of the day means for the American people. | See more on Amy Holmes here.
Renowned Political Strategist & Former Interim Chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC)
Donna Brazile is best known as a veteran political strategist, renowned political commentator, columnist, author, adjunct professor at Harvard, and former interim chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), who analyses the hot political topics of the day using prized behind-the-scenes insight. Donna was the first African American woman to manage a national presidential campaign and knows a thing or two about overcoming diversity. An expert on political and socioeconomic issues, she sits on the board of the Professional Diversity Network and looks at why expanding the circle of opportunity for minorities helps everyone succeed and how diversity is the key to success both in the board room and in Washington, DC. Her southern charm, big personality, and hilarious anecdotes make her an instant audience favorite. In fact, Oprah’s O magazine chose her as one of its “20 remarkable visionaries” and Washingtonian named her one of its “100 most powerful women.” | See more on Donna Brazile here.
CNN Political Analyst & Former US Representative from South Carolina
Bakari Sellers is a widely-respected political analyst on CNN and the former US Representative from South Carolina who offers passionate political and social commentary and analysis informed by first-hand experience. Sellers made history in 2006 when, at just 22 years old, he defeated a 26-year incumbent State Representative to become the youngest member of the South Carolina state legislature and the youngest African American elected official in the nation. In 2014, Sellers won the Democratic nomination for Lt. Governor and is widely considered to be a rising star within the Democratic Party and leading voice for his generation. In addition to his impressive list of early accomplishments, Sellers served on President Barack Obama's South Carolina steering committee during the 2008 election. That coupled with his uncommon ability to reach across the aisle and get things done has led to numerous accolades including being named to TIME magazine’s "40 Under 40" in 2010 as well as 2014’s “The Root 100” list of the nation’s most influential African Americans. Sellers has been a highly-sought after public speaker and has provided political and social commentary and analysis on many major national news outlets. | See more on Bakari Sellers here.
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. For nearly two decades, he has been on the frontlines of politics and one of the top Democratic communications strategists in the country, helping political leaders and organizations figure out how to tell their story in order to break through the rapidly-changing media landscape. With humor and a charismatic personality, Elleithee shares stories and insights about the current state of politics, giving audiences an insider’s glimpse into the workings of Washington. He highlights what they can expect from the upcoming elections, the narratives around the hot button issues, and reasons why our political system is broken—and what audiences can learn from Millennials about how to fix it. | See more on Mo Elleithee here.
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. Dubbing his city the “Capital City of NAFTA,” he understands the political and economic demands of running the fourth largest metropolitan area in the country. As mayor, he served two terms from 1995–2002 and was among a group of political leaders who called for permanently normalizing trade relations with China. 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 Ron Kirk here.
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. Jamal has served as traveling press secretary for two US Presidential candidates and was the campaign communications director for US Senator Max Cleland. He also worked on several other US presidential campaigns, including President Bill Clinton’s successful presidential campaign in 1992. During the 2010 US congressional election, he was the Democratic political analyst for CBS News and before that a fixture on CNN during the 2008 Presidential election. He is now a regular political commentator on CNN and MSNBC. With experience in political campaigns, Congress, and traveling across the globe for the White House and the press, he brings several perspectives and entertaining stories to his political analysis, including an in-depth look at the Obama Administration, and the Democratic Congress. With some of the most important policy issues on the docket in Washington, Jamal Simmons provides entertaining and informative analysis to everything from healthcare and education to foreign policy and the economy. Jamal is a very knowledgeable political keynote speaker who draws on his extensive experience to discuss pressing political news.
For a point-counterpoint discussion, pair Simmons with CNN political analyst Amy Holmes to create a lively and informative debate that answers important questions and provides multiple points of view on the issues on your audience's minds. Simmons can also team up with other terrific political thought leaders, like Dan Bartlett and Ed Gillespie. | See more on Jamal Simmons here.
Interested in seeing more of the African American speakers we represent?
- Check out a list of our top-booked African American speakers here.
- Browse through our African American speaker search results to see our complete collection of motivational and inspirational black keynote speakers.
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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