In honor of Black History Month, I wanted to share some of the most inspirational Black dancers, artists, athletes, and more that have made a positive impact on me and my family. This is a wonderful time of year to showcase these talented, creative individuals that have made their mark not only in their field but on us. On that note, it’s important that we take this time to recognize how important is that together, as a family, we educate ourselves, listen and learn, and do what we can to help make a difference for the future. We hope you find these men and women just as inspirational as we do!

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Move Your Feet

In our house, we love to dance! At this point, it’s a Schaffer tradition! And with Boss Baby Brody’s love of ballet, dancers like Raven Wilkinson, Misty Copeland, and Virginia Johnson are such an inspiration. These women changed the face of ballet!

Copeland became the first African American woman to be promoted to principal dancer in the American Ballet Theatre’s 75-year history. Wilkinson was credited with having been the first Black woman to dance for a major classical ballet company back in 1955. And Johnson has been a ballet dancer, choreographer, and journalist over the course of her career. As a founding member and former principal dancer of the Dance Theatre of Harlem, she’s now serving as their artistic director. Talk about breaking some glass ceilings!

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Go For the Goal

My two oldest boys are all about sports, and they love being part of a team! Whether it’s basketball or lacrosse they are all about it! My boys can’t help but admire the Black athletes that have made such a lasting impact on their sport, including Jackie Robinson, Wilma Rudolph, and Simone Ashley Manuel.

Robinson became the first African American to play in Major League Baseball. And Rudolph was the first American woman to win three gold medals in one Olympics. Manuel holds three world records as a member of a relay team, and she is a six-time individual NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships champion. That’s a lot of medals!

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Shop For Style

If you’ve seen my closet, you know that I am obsessed with fashion. And I’d like to think I’m still pretty stylish for a 40-something mom of four! Honestly, I love so many designers, it would be impossible to name them all. But Ann Lowe, Tracy Reese, and Kimora Lee Simmons made such an impact on their industry they have to be appreciated!

Lowe was the first African American to become a noted fashion designer. Reese is a fashion designer who specializes in clothing, accessories, and home fashions, and is a sitting board member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America. And in the early aughts, you could not be seen without Kimora Lee Simmons’ Baby Phat line.

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Appreciate the Artistry

In the Schaffer family, we appreciate all types of art, whether it’s music, literature, paintings, or visual art. There are so many ways to express yourself and we’re big believers in doing what you’re passionate about! And Black artists like Langston Hughes, Lorna Simpson, and February James have made such an impact with their passionate creativity!

Simpson is an American photographer and multimedia artist. And Jones is an artist whose work has graced album covers by Diplo, Santigold, and Lil Yachty. Hughes, of course, was an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist, and considered one of the earliest innovators of the literary art form called jazz poetry and a leader of the Harlem Renaissance.

Who inspires you and your family? How are you and your family celebrating Black History Month? Let us know in the comments!

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