Name: Colin Powell
Basics: The son of Jamaican immigrants and born in Harlem, NY; the story of this man is a modern American success story. The list of achievements is long for Mr. Powell, but the ones that stick out are the fact he was the first black person and only African American to serve on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Also, he was the first African-American to be made Secretary of State. As a Four-star General, his list of military accomplishments is long and storied. His “Powell Doctrine” military strategy is largely credited for the success of Desert Shield in the 90s.
Why I Chose Him: I think it is important to appreciate all points of view when it comes to the black community. Sometimes, we have a tendency to ostracize those members of our community who have more conservative viewpoints and there are valid reasons for this. But with that said, the best discussions and resolutions come about when all points of view are considered. And despite whatever political leanings we possess, we have to admire the hard work of someone who was able to start from such humble beginnings and become America’s top diplomat.