This February, HuffPost Black Voices is honoring black men and women who are paving the way to a better future for black America. We are highlighting the work of deserving individuals who are striving to make the world a more inclusive place across their respective fields.

This week, were honoring some of the trailblazers in the world of sports and entertainment.

From a groundbreaking sabre fencer to a multi-hyphenate actor, the following men and women who have inadvertently or not used their talents for the betterment and advancement of black culture.

Here are seven entertainers and athletes we believe have been making noteworthy cultural strides.

  • Serena Williams
    Scott Barbour via Getty Images

    During January’s women’s final at the Australian Open, Serena Williams elevated the bar on her list of career milestones by becoming the only tennis player – man or woman – to win a record 23 Grand Slam single titles. The historic moment, which broke the previous record tie break between her and Steffi Graf, also re-crowned Williams as the world’s number one tennis player.

  • Donald Glover
    Steve Granitz via Getty Images

    Donald Glover is nothing short of entertaining. Over the last year, the actor released his third studio album, “Awaken, My Love!” and created and starred in FX’s hit series, “Atlanta.” Last month, the hit series earned Glover a Golden Globe award for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy TV Series.

    As if that wasn’t enough, Glover is also set to portray the role of Lando Calrissian in the upcoming “Star Wars” spinoff, as well as Simba in the forthcoming live-action version of “The Lion King.”

  • Barry Jenkins
    Tim P. Whitby via Getty Images

    Writer-director Barry Jenkins’ approach to addressing black masculinity on the silver screen has made his film “Moonlight” as one of the most talked about films of the season. Based on the semi-autobiographical play of the same title by Tarell Alvin McCraney, the film took home top billing at this year’s annual Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture.

    The film also earned eight Oscar nominations, including Best Director, Picture and Screenplay – making Jenkins the first black director to be recognized in the three categories.

  • Solange
    Jason LaVeris via Getty Images

    In September 2016, Solange served listeners with her third studio album, “A Seat at the Table.” The singer-songwriter delivered an auditory ode on social themes and macroaggressions affecting the black community.

    She won her first Grammy win in February, and is now on the short list of musical siblings with number one albums.

  • Chance The Rapper
    Jared Siskin via Getty Images

    Labeled as “The Future” by Kanye West, Chance the Rapper’s influence on music has just begun. In addition to landing major endorsement deals from the likes of Kit Kat, Chance has been at the forefront of raising awareness around social issues in America and inspiring black men to showcase their #BlackBoyJoy.

    Earlier this month, the 23-year-old made history after the Recording Academy altered its eligibility rules by awarding him the first ever Grammy for a streaming-only album, “Color Book.”

  • Taraji P. Henson
    20th Century Fox

    Taraji’s had a great few years it seems. She received a historic Emmy nomination in 2015, and this year she’s had great success in role her as African-American mathematician Katherine Johnson in “Hidden Figures.”

    During a January episode of “The Talk,” Henson said it was: ”my mission to be a part of this film because I didn’t want another girl to ever believe that her brain cannot understand numbers and rocket science. If a boy can do it, you can do it too. A brilliant mind does not have a color or a gender.”

  • Ibtihaj Muhammad
    Michael Loccisano via Getty Images

    During the 2016 Olympics Ibtihaj Muhammad made history by becoming the first American to compete in an Olympics wearing a hijab. The New Jersey native’s historical feat was a precursor for what would later result in another milestone as she earned a bronze medal in the women’s sabre competition — making Muhammad the first American woman to win a medal at the Olympics while wearing a hijab.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/7-black-figures-incredible-advancements-sports-and-entertainment_us_58ab44e9e4b0a855d1d8b845?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

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