2021’s Top African-American Keynote Speakers

Honoring 2021’s Top African American Keynote Speakers for Black History Month

After the Civil Rights movement focused Americans on the subject of the contributions of African Americans to history and culture, 1976 marked the beginning of the annual celebration we continue to recognize each February. BigSpeak Speakers Bureau would like to recognize the following African American keynote speakers for their contributions to the speaking industry, in business, leadership, inspiration, and empowerment.

Magic Johnson

Earvin “Magic” Johnson is universally known for his 13-year career in the NBA.  Earvin Johnson, Jr. is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Magic Johnson Enterprises which was formed in 1987. Through strategic investments, partnerships and endorsements, Magic Johnson Enterprises (MJE) provide products and services that particularly focus on ethnically diverse urban communities. Speaking to audiences as an athlete, an entrepreneur, and an HIV survivor, Magic Johnson’s presentations are captivating and inspiring.

Omar Johnson

Omar Johnson is a marketing and branding keynote speaker, entrepreneur, former CMO at Beats by Dre, and former VP Marketing at Apple. Adweek named Johnson a “Brand Genius” in 2013, and Business Insider named him one of the “Most Innovative CMOs” in 2016.

Tsedal Neeley

Tsedal Neeley is a top virtual work and organizational change expert, business thought leader and a Professor at the Harvard Business School. Her new book Remote Work Revolution: Succeeding from Anywhere provides companies and leaders with the best virtual practices to perform at the highest levels. Neeley has also recently broken the record for the most-viewed video on Harvard Business School’s YouTube page. 

Marcus Collins

Marcus Collins is a marketing expert, award-winning advertiser, former Head of Digital Strategy for Beyoncé, and a Marketing Professor at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan. Over the last decade, Marcus has helped “blue-chip” brands (like McDonald’s, Google, AB-InBev) navigate the challenges of digital transformation to create contagious marketing ideas that extend across both the online and offline worlds of “social.”

Risha Grant

Risha Grant is diversity personified. From her race, gender, and lifestyle choices to being a young, small business owner and tackling economic issues, every area of her life intersects with diversity. As a national speaker, Risha uses passion, knowledge, and humor to empower attendees to increase their bottom line by giving them tools to get rid of their bias.

Daymond John

Daymond John is the personification of the American Dream. From his humble beginning on the streets of New York to a self-made multimillionaire with over $4 billion in global product sales, and a starring role on the ABC business reality TV show Shark Tank, Daymond John continues to set standards of excellence while expanding his interests in fashion, branding, marketing, consulting, entertainment and beyond. An industry leader, best-selling author, and groundbreaking entrepreneur, he has evolved into a highly sought after business and motivational speaker.

Natalie Nixon

Dr. Natalie Nixon is a strategy, foresight and innovation expert. She advises leaders on unique approaches for process transformation and leveraging creativity as an innovation resource to more rapidly achieve priority business goals.

Jade Simmons

Jade Simmons is a top experiential keynote speaker, rockstar concert pianist, best of SXSW performer, and classical music’s No.1 Maverick. She delivers stunning MainStage keynote presentations that potently combine music, virtuoso performance, and riveting storytelling to speak into the hearts, minds, and goals of a company’s most valuable resource…its people.

Vernice “Flygirl” Armour

Known simply as FlyGirl, Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour went from beat cop to combat pilot in three years. Within months of earning her wings, she found herself flying over the deserts of Iraq supporting the men and women on the ground. FlyGirl is a battle-tested speaker who ignites audiences with a dynamic spark that can’t be extinguished.

Carla Harris

Carla Harris is an economics and inspirational keynote speaker and the Vice Chairman, Managing Director and Senior Client Advisor at Morgan Stanley. Carla is also the author of the books, Strategize to Win (2014) and of Expect to Win (2009) (Hudson Press).

Simon T. Bailey

Renowned speaker and author Simon T. Bailey is the leader of the “brilliance” movement—helping more than 1 million people find their brilliance, shift their thinking and produce sustainable results. He is the former sales director of the world-renowned Disney Institute and founder of Brilliance Institute, Inc. Having served hundreds of Fortune 500 companies and over 1000 organizations on six continents, the ‘hilariously engaging’ and ‘tactically insightful’ Mr. Bailey understands the frustrations and opportunities that professionals encounter.

Brian Holloway

A Stanford All-American, 5 time NFL All-Pro, and All-Star front line competitor, Brian Holloway was the 6’7? powerhouse at the core of the 1985 New England Patriots Super Bowl team. After retiring from the NFL, he was hired by the Baltimore Ravens as a motivational speaker, coach, and mentor before they became world champs at Super Bowl XLVII. Today, Brian Holloway is America’s #1 requested team-building speaker and renowned corporate trainer, mobilizing companies and organizations in search of peak productivity, helping them achieve new levels of excellence.

Les Brown

Les Brown is one of the nation’s leading authorities in understanding and stimulating human potential. As a renowned motivational speaker, author, and television personality, Les Brown has risen to national prominence by delivering a high energy message, teaching audiences how to shake off mediocrity and live up to their greatness. It is a message Les Brown has learned from his own life and one he is helping others apply to their lives.

Christopher Gardner

The amazing story of Christopher Gardner’s life was first published as an autobiography, The Pursuit of Happyness, becoming a New York Times and Washington Post #1 bestseller and a hollywood film. Always hard working and tenacious, a series of adverse circumstances in the early 1980s left Chris Gardner homeless in San Francisco, the sole guardian of his toddler son. Unwilling to give up Chris Jr. or his dreams of success, Gardner climbed the financial industry ladder from the very bottom.

Lisa Nichols

One of the featured teachers of The Secret, Lisa Nichols’ powerful message of personal empowerment has helped thousands of people make significant, positive changes in their lives. Groups from corporate executives to teenagers have been motivated by Lisa Nichols’ inspiring presentations, and she’s been honored worldwide for her passion and drive.

See Here for More Lists of Top Keynote Speakers.


The content writers at BigSpeak Speakers Bureau are Experts on the Experts. They hold doctoral, masters, and bachelors’ degrees in business, writing, literature, and education. Their business thought pieces are published regularly in leading business publications. Working in close association with the top business, entrepreneur, and motivational speakers, BigSpeak content writers are at the forefront of industry trends and research.