Black History Month – Good Morning America’s Inspiration List

Black History Month has become a time-honored tradition since it was first conceptualized as “Negro History Week” in 1925 by Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), and first celebrated in 1926. In 1976, honoring the heritage of Black Americans became a month-long celebration, officially recognized in the United States by President Gerald R. Ford.

Now more than ever, February is a time to remember the people who have enriched the community with knowledge, pride and respect. We recognize the contributions, struggles and history of African Americans, and reflect on the idea that Black History is at the heart of American history. Welcome to the first GMA INSPIRATION LIST: Who’s Making Black History Right Now?

Good Morning America and ABC News asked influential Black leaders, celebrities, intellectuals, entrepreneurs, athletes and more to nominate fellow Black Americans for the list. Most of these nominations are rising stars on the cusp of becoming household names, whose influence, we believe, will become monumental. They are “hidden figures” doing the work, gaining success and sharing their talent … making Black history right here, right now.

America, meet the next generation of Black excellence.

Discover over 100 nominations from 92 influential figures in the Black American community:


Monica nominates Mrs. Emma Schell Dudley

Mrs. Emma Schell Dudley, affectionately known to me and so many others as “Aunt Emma,” has been a continuous source of motivation and strength for most of my life. I admire her desire to give children stability and love as well as lending her knowledge as a mathematician by tutoring them free for over 50 years. Aunt Emma dedicated her life to Christ, family and community long ago, and in her wise age she still continues to be a beacon of hope and love for all of us. Aunt Emma is the epitome of strength and one we all can look up to.