Photo by Smithsonian Mag
The NMAAHC opened in 2016 and stands as an institution that, according to their website, “provides an opportunity for those who are interested in African American culture to explore and revel in this history.” More importantly, “it explores what it means to be an American and share how American values like resiliency, optimism, and spirituality are reflected in African American history and culture.” Resiliency and optimism in particular resonates because 2020 [& 2021] has taught us that when we stay positive and continue fighting as one we can spark real change. After the senseless murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd [and countless, unforgotten, others] we need as much resiliency and optimism as possible.
Photo by Mark Almond
Thankfully, some of the sports' biggest stars showed out and provided genuine assistance to aid the historic efforts made by Black Lives Matter, supporters, and other pro-BLM organizations. It was amazing to see the likes of LeBron James do much more than just "shut up and dribble" and it's even more promising to see some of the long-term initiates athletes have taken to ensure tomorrow is better than today. To celebrate those efforts, we've highlighted some signature athletes that have made, or are currently making Black History. Peep some of our favorite sport-activists, stories, and kicks below and let us know which pair you'd like to rock with your new BHM Sneaker Daypack!
Shoe: Nike Air Force 1 x Colin Kaepernick
Photo by Nike
Kap's sacrificed his career by kneeing in NFL games to bring attention to the larger issues like race inequality, socioeconomic injustice, and police brutality. The former 49ers star organized his resources to create the Know Your Rights Camp Legal Defense Initiative; a group that provides legal resources to victims of police brutality. Earlier in 2020 Colin donated $100,000 in COVID relief to black and brown communities affected by the pandemic - showing that help comes in different forms. Looking back, Colin Kaepernick has always looked out for those in need. He won the Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award in 2017 too!
Shoe: Nike LeBron 16 'Equality'
Photo by Nike
In all honesty, LeBron James makes Black History on a borderline monthly basis. When it's all said and done, LeBron's legacy of activism will be as long as his stat sheet. His I Promise School in Ohio needs little introduction, but more recently LeBron led his peers and followers to the polls for the 2020 Presidential Election. James established the More Than A Vote group that helped reestablish voting rights to past convicts. More Than A Vote's priority is to combat voter suppression through educating and galvanizing the community. James successfully enlisted a star studded roster of current and former NBA players to help in his efforts.
Shoe: Nike Kobe IX Elite 'BHM'
The late Kobe Bryant rarely disappointed on the court and he never let down his community. Bryant's well documented association with Make A Wish was only a sliver of charitable legacy. Bryant pledged books and resources for LeBron James's I Promise School, and founded the VIVO foundation with his wife, Vanessa. VIVO sponsors international enrichment experiences for minority college students. His service spanned 20 year, but one of his more interesting charitable endeavors was his Milestone Donor status with the NMAAHC.
Shoe: Under Armor Curry 7 'Our History'
Photo by Under Armour
Curry's contributions to the Black Community might fly a little under the radar but they're impactful none the less. Steph and Ayesha Curry are extremely active in Oakland, CA, where the Currys refurbished parks and outfitted community centers with computers and technology for youth. Their Learn. Play. Foundation enriches the Oakland area with summer camps, college grants and meal assistance. Back in July 2020 Steph parlayed his love of golf with activism when he donated his custom Breonna Taylor spikes to Black Lives Matter after the American Century Championship in Lake Tahoe, CA.
Photo by Golf Digest
Shoe: Air Jordan 2 'BHM'
Photo by Nike
In the wake of George Floyd's murder, Michael and Jordan Brand pledged one hundred million dollars over ten years to various partner initiatives. The donation plan seeks to address three issues: social injustice, economic injustice and a lack of cultural awareness. Like Bryant, Jordan also holds Milestone Donor status with the NMAAHC with lifetime donations of over five million dollars. Proper dues should be given to Michael - he's contributed so much behind the scenes to the community of Chicago and state of North Carolina.
Which pair would you pack in your BHM Sneaker Daypack? Drop us a comment below!