Saluting five notable alumni

Photo of Anike Nomi Rose courtesy: Getty Images

Black History Month is when we pause to recognize the achievements and contributions of extraordinary individuals who have emerged from a historically Black institution. Specifically, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, the nation’s  No. 1 public HBCU.

FAMU  has produced numerous notable alumni who have left an indelible mark on society. Today, we will highlight five exceptional FAMU alumni who have made significant strides in their respective fields, inspiring future generations.

Anika Noni Rose 

Rose, a versatile actress and singer, has established herself and an audience with her incredible talent and versatility. As a FAMU alumna, Rose has starred in acclaimed productions such as the Broadway musical “Caroline or Change” and the Disney film “The Princess and the Frog,” where she plays the world-famous “Princess Tianna.”  Her performances have broken barriers for Black actresses in the entertainment industry.

Bernard Kinsey  

Kinsey, an esteemed alumnus of FAMU, has dedicated his life to preserving and promoting African American history and culture. As the co-founder of the Kinsey Collection, a renowned collection of African American art, artifacts and documents, Kinsey has shed light on the often-overlooked contributions of Black individuals throughout history. His tireless efforts to curate and exhibit this collection have sparked conversations and inspired countless individuals to embrace their heritage.

Pam Oliver 

A renowned and respected sports journalist, Oliver has broken barriers and shattered glass ceilings throughout her illustrious career. As a FAMU School of Journalism and Graphic Communication graduate, Oliver has covered major sporting events, including the Super Bowl and NBA Finals. Her dedication to reporting and insightful commentary have made her a respected figure in the male-dominated world of sports journalism, inspiring countless aspiring journalists, particularly women of color, to pursue careers in sports media.

Keisha Lance Bottoms  

Lance Bottoms, the 60th mayor of Atlanta, has emerged as a prominent political figure and advocate for social justice. After graduating from FAMU’s School of Journalism & Graphic Communication followed by the law school at Georgia State, Lance Bottoms embarked on a career in public service, serving issues such as affordable housing, criminal justice reform, and much more. Her leadership during times of crisis, including the COVID-19 pandemic and racial unrest, have earned her national recognition.

Will Packer 

Packer, a graduate of FAMU’s College of Engineering, a highly successful film producer and a Hollywood powerhouse, has significantly impacted the entertainment industry. With box office hits like “Girls Trip” and “Stomp The Yard,” Packer has consistently produced films that celebrate diversity and empower underrepresented voices. His commitment to telling authentic stories has earned him a top spot as one of Hollywood’s most influential producers.

These five living legends from FAMU continue to make significant contributions to their respective fields, breaking barriers and inspiring future generations. From film and television to politics and art, their achievements are a testament to the power of education and perseverance. As we celebrate Black History Month, let us honor the legacy of these exceptional individuals and continue to uplift and support the achievements of all Black trailblazers.