Historically Black colleges and universities have always been a space to cultivate talent. Not just in sports or entertainment, but as world figures, thought leaders and revolutionaries. When you have the power of education under your belt — there’s almost nothing that can stop you from shifting culture.
These 11 ground breakers opted to attend an HBCU and eventually took on the world. Judging by their successes, they all made the right choice.
The legendary author, known for her Pulitzer prize winning novel Beloved and her best selling books, including The Bluest Eye, graduated from Howard University with a B.A. in English.
The poet and actress, known for her novel The Color Purple, attended Spelman College.
The politician began his career in activism while attending North Carolina A&T. He even participated in marches and boycotts with Dr. Martin Luther King during his college years.
Thompson, who currently serves as the chairman of Microsoft, recieved his bachelors in business from Florida A&M in the early 70’s.
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My #WCW the lovely #RosalindBrewer the CEO of Sams Club. A fighter of gender equality. Strong example for all women and particularly women of color. She is taking heat for her recent comments on supporting equality and it has been flipped on her. We pray she weathers the storm. But today I #salute her and all women in the struggle to establish themselves in this tough world. #wcw #genderequality #strongwomen #phenomenalwomen #supportdiversity 🙌🏾💯👸🏾 #ladyboss
The Sam’s Club CEO is the first Black woman to hold a position at Wal Mart inc. She earned her bachelor’s in chemistry at Spelman University.
Dr. Martin Luther King
Dr. King is probably one of the most influential and legendary people on this list and in history. The reverend and activist attended Morehouse College and graduated in 1948.
Booker T. Washington
The great thinker and educator is one of the most notable alumni’s that any HBCU could have. He attended Hampton University (then known as Hampton Institute) before graduating in 1875.
Marshall, who made history as the first African-American Supreme Court Justice in United States history, attended Lincoln University and Howard University in the late 1920’s. His classmates included historical figures like Langston Hughes and Cab Calloway.
The infamous poet and civil rights activist became the face of the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920’s after his tenure at Lincoln University.
The mathematician and computer scientist, who was apart of the the all-male flight research division of NASA and famously calculated the flight trajectory for Apollo 11’s moon flight in 1969, attended West Virginia University. Her character was portrayed by Taraji P. Henson in the film Hidden Figures. She celebrated her 99th birthday in August 2017.
The television correspondent attended Cheyney State College in Pennsylvania. Bradley became the first Black journalist to cover the White House and went on to win 19 Emmy Awards as a correspondent for 60 Minutes before his death in 2006.