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24 Black Celebs Who Risked Fame & Fortune To Move Us Forward


Lena Horne

Horne was the first African-American to sign a long-term movie contract with a major Hollywood studio when she joined MGM in 1942 She was also known as a great singer in her day.

Always conscious of her roles in Hollywood, the light-skinned Horne refused to go along with studio plans to promote her as a Latin-American.

She was an active supporter of  Martin Luther King Jr.’s civil rights movement, and Horne was there when King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech on the Lincoln Memorial steps in 1963.



Maria Isabel Urrutia

Maria Isabel Urrutia is an Afro-Colombian Olympic gold-medal winner in weightlifting and a Colombian politician.

She spent over a decade as an athlete at the Olympic level and won Colombia’s first and only gold medal in history in the women’s 75 kg in the 2000 summer games.

As a politician, Urrutia has advocated against government corruption and worked to advance poor and working-class Colombians.

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