• Jameen Willis

Black Men In History Series: Name This Person


From Kobe Bryant, to Bill Cosby, and Russell Simmons; We see that media, society, and our current culture likes to focus on the mistakes and shortcomings of Black Men. The reports, stories, and articles often attempt to over shadow the good these men have contributed to the world as we know it.


The issue is, without informing the masses of the good and the bad, people who would otherwise know nothing about the person being discussed accept for the selective information being distributed, form an ill-advised opinion without being able to make a decision based on seeing all sides.


And even within the African American Community, we can be guilty of this also. A re-looped clip from TMZ or twenty seconds of a twenty minute speech can have us prepared to "cancel" someone despite major contributions to the seven pillars of society.


This is why I chose to highlight the positive contributions of Black Men in History this month. I hope that this series is shared with others, so that these men can be celebrated and can continue to be an inspiration for others.


So for this post, I wanted to do something different. I am going to describe the person without using his name. Also, I will list major accomplishments and see if you can guess who it is. Leave in the comments who you think it is.


Here we go! This Black Man is a rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, entrepreneur, and fashion designer. He is among the most critically acclaimed musicians of the 21st century. His music has spanned a broad range of styles, incorporating an eclectic range of influences including hip-hip, soul, baroque pop, indie rock, synth-pop, and gospel.


He is married with four children. His father was a former Black Panther and was one of the first black photojournalists at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.


As a fashion designer, he has collaborated with Nike, Louis Vuitton, and Adidas on both clothing and footwear. In 2009, he became the first non-athlete to have a shoe deal with Nike. He is the founder and head of his own creative content company.


This man is one of the world's best selling music artists with over 100 million records sold worldwide. He has won a total of 21 Grammy Awards, making him one of the most awarded artists of all time. Three of his albums have been included and ranked on Rolling Stone's 2012 update of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list and he is tied-holder for the most albums topping the annual Pazz & Jop critic poll with four. Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2005 and 2015.


Billboard senior editor Alex Gale declared him "absolutely one of the best, and you could make the argument for the best artist of the 21st century. Sharing similar sentiments, Complex Magazine called this man the twenty-first century's "most important artist of any art form, of any genre."


This artist is one of the best-selling digital artists of all-time. He's the 7th highest certified artist in the US by digital singles (69 million). He had the most RIAA digital song certifications by a male artist in the 2000s (19) and was the fourth best-selling digital songs artist of the 2000s in the US.


This Black Man has made history and continues to make history to this very day. I've intentionally left out numerous awards, accolades, and accomplishments to try to not give the identity away too easily. Can you guess who this person is?



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