January and February may be months away, but now is the time to start booking the speakers you want for your 2017 MLK or Black History month event.
To help narrow down some options, we provided a historical time line of stories from five African American keynote speakers who would be a great choice:
1850s – Chris Rabb
In the 1850s, a slave known as “Jack Rabb” started his own butcher business, Rabb’s Meat Market. His store became so successful he later purchased his own freedom! Jack Rabb’s entrepreneurial spirit lives on in his descendant — Chris Rabb, who is a national thought leader on social entrepreneurship, and the Democratic nominee for state representative in northwest Philadelphia. He’s also an author of the book Invisible Capital: How Unseen Forces Shape Entrepreneurial Opportunity, which addresses modern US business, structural inequality, and community wealth-building. Chris Rabb represents today’s quintessential business man who continues to add to his list of achievements.
1970s – Grandmaster Flash
He is one of hip-hop’s greatest DJ pioneers. Even from a young age, Joseph Saddler was always interested in music, and when he began DJing he became known as Grandmaster “Flash,” for his quick hands at the turntable. Historically, Grandmaster Flash was the first DJ to physically put his hands on the vinyl and manipulate its sound, now known as the Quick Mix Theory. His group, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, were also the first hip-hop group to be inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame. Through his innovation and creativity, Grandmaster helped expand the horizons of hip-hop.
1997 – Coach Ken Carter
Moving forward to the late 90s, Ken Carter became coach of the Richmond High School basketball team. Already a successful businessman, he was the perfect person to help the team that was failing in athletics and academics. After two years, there was a huge turn around in the basketball team, but some players still had poor grades. With another obstacle at hand, Coach Ken Carter chose to lock his undefeated basketball team out of the gym until they improved their academics. Initially Coach Carter was criticized for this controversial move, but he wanted to emphasize that an education is just as important as talent. His unique story inspired the movie Coach Carter, and he’s gone on to conquer other business ventures.
2001 – Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour
From a young age, Vernice Armour knew that she wanted to be a police officer, which she did. But soon after, she set her sights on becoming a pilot. Through the ROTC program at her college and the Marine Corps, her dream became a reality. In 2001, she earned her wings, ranking No. 1 in her class, and made history as the Marine Corps’ first African-American female pilot. The history making didn’t stop there, after serving two tours during Operation Iraqi Freedom, she also became America’s first African-American female combat pilot. Today, FlyGirl shares the leadership skills she acquired from her knowledge and experience around the world through her Zero to Breakthrough program.
Present – Dr. Rachael Ross
Dr. Rachael Ross is a true testament to the American Dream. She is a practicing board-certified family medicine physician and sexologist, and is with her family’s health office. Dr. Rachael is known for being outspoken in her groundbreaking discussions about relationships, sex, health, abstinence, HIV/AIDS prevention and comprehensive sex education for teenagers. Recently, she was a co-host on television show The Doctors, which allowed her to share her message with millions of viewers. In addition to this, she received Northwest Indiana’s prestigious Athena International Service Award for her and her late sister’s work in mentoring girls. This philanthropy earned them recognition from the National Council of Negro Women. Dr. Rachael Ross continues to bring awareness of health and wellness by offering her “Prescriptions for life.”
For more information about how African-American keynote speakers like these can impact your event, contact Eagles Talent Speakers Bureau at 1.800.345.5607.
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