Beyond the Red Carpet: Black Celebrities Making a Difference

For Black History Month, we're highlighting Black celebrities who have transcended the traditional boundaries of fame, using their platforms for social change and advocacy.

As we celebrate Black History Month, our "Legacy Unleashed," series spotlights the rich tapestry of Black excellence, exploring the contributions of individuals who have left an indelible mark on music, television, and celebrity culture.

This week, we're shifting the lens away from Hollywood's glitz and glamour and delving into the impactful endeavors of Black celebrities who have embraced their roles as not just entertainers but as advocates, change-makers, and influencers committed to making a lasting difference.

From challenging societal norms to championing causes close to their hearts, these celebrities utilize their fame as a powerful tool for social change and advocacy. Join us as we shine a spotlight on these remarkable individuals, celebrating their contributions that go beyond the red carpet and echo in social justice, philanthropy, and empowerment.

  • Beyoncé: The Philanthropic Queen

    Getty Images

    Beyoncé al Renaissance World Tour

    Global music and cultural icon Beyoncé extends her influence beyond entertainment through philanthropy. She co-founded BeyGOOD, which supports various charitable causes, including education, health, and disaster relief. Beyoncé actively advocates for gender equality and racial justice, using her massive platform to promote positive change. Her impact is not just in the music industry but also in the lives of countless individuals benefited by her charitable endeavors.

  • LeBron James: Slam Dunk for Social Justice

    LeBron James on BET Buzz 2020.
    LeBron James on BET Buzz 2020.

    NBA superstar LeBron James is not just a basketball legend; he's a committed activist. Beyond his exceptional sports career, James established the LeBron James Family Foundation, focusing on education and community development. The foundation's "I PROMISE School" in Akron, Ohio, provides a supportive educational environment for at-risk children. LeBron is vocal about issues like racial inequality and police brutality, using his status to bring attention to systemic problems and advocate for lasting change.

  • Viola Davis: Breaking Barriers on and off the Screen


    Trailblazing actress Viola Davis has become a force for change in Hollywood. Known for her powerful performances, Davis is equally passionate about breaking barriers for Black artists. She advocates for more inclusivity in the entertainment industry, addressing issues of diversity and representation. Davis also supports charitable organizations that focus on education and youth empowerment, reflecting her dedication to making a lasting impact both on and off the screen.

  • John Legend: Using Music as a Catalyst for Change

    John Legend at the 2018 Emmys.

    (Photo by JC Olivera/WireImage)

    John Legend at the 2018 Emmys.

    John Legend extends his talents to drive social change. His philanthropic efforts include addressing criminal justice reform through the FreeAmerica initiative. Legend uses his music to amplify essential messages about social justice, with songs like "Glory" advocating for change. By combining his musical prowess with advocacy commitment, Legend showcases art's transformative power in addressing societal challenges.

  • Alicia Keys: Keys to Empowerment

    Alicia Keys

    Alicia Keys is not just a music sensation but also a committed advocate for social causes. Through the Keep a Child Alive Foundation, Keys focuses on providing healthcare to children and families affected by HIV/AIDS. Her activism extends to issues of racial and gender equality, education, and global health. Keys uses her platform to spark conversations and inspire others to contribute to positive change.

  • Janelle Monáe: A Voice for the Marginalized

    Janelle Monáe performs at the BET Soul Train Awards 2023.

    Janelle Monáe uses her platform to amplify the voices of marginalized communities. Beyond her music career, Monáe advocates for LGBTQ+ rights, racial justice, and gender equality. She supports organizations addressing social issues and uses her art to provoke thoughtful discussions on societal challenges. Monáe's commitment to social activism showcases the transformative power of art in advocating for a more inclusive and just world.

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