There were many highs, lows, and intriguing moments this year. In terms of politics, business, sports, technology, and pop culture, there were multiple achievements that were historical and noteworthy.
Here are the 10 moments of excellence that defined Black America in 2022.
Ketanji Brown Jackson Becomes First Black Woman In The Supreme Court
In April, Ketanji Brown Jackson made history by becoming the first Black woman to serve as a justice on the Supreme Court in its more than 200-year history. Jackson was approved by the Senate by a vote of 53 to 47.
Wes Moore Becomes Governor Maryland
In November, Wes Moore made history by becoming the first Black person elected as governor of Maryland. The 44-year-old Moore recently served as commencement speaker at the HBCU Morgan State University and will be sworn in as governor in January 2023.
Serena Williams Walks Away From Historic Career
On Sept. 2, Serena Williams walked away from the game of tennis. After a grueling three-hour battle against Ajla Tomljanović at the US Open, Williams lost in what is likely her last tennis match. Following the match, Williams addressed a capacity crowd at the US Open in Flushing Meadows, New York. by thanking her parents and sister, Venus Williams. “It all started with my parents and they deserve everything. I wouldn’t be Serena if there wasn’t Venus, so thank you Venus,” Williams said.
Hakeem Jeffries Becomes First Black Person To Lead Democrat Caucus
House Democrats have chose Hakeem Jeffries to succeed Nancy Pelosi as their party leader, making him the first Black person to lead one of the two major parties in either chamber of Congress.
Raphael Warnock Defeats Herschel Walker
In what became one of the most intriguing elections of the year, the race between Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker made multiple national headlines. Following a run-off, Warnock would emerge victorious and retain his seat in the U.S. Senate.
Jaylen Smith Becomes The Youngest Mayor In America
Jaylen Smith, the ambitious teenager of Earle, Arkansas, became the youngest mayor in America after he won a run-off election in the town just 25 miles outside of Memphis.
Claudine Gay Becomes First Black President of Harvard University
In December, Claudine Gay made history by becoming the first Black person to be named as the president of Harvard University. Gay is also the second Black woman to lead an Ivy League school, after former Brown University’s President Ruth J. Simmons.
Sandra Douglass Morgan Becomes First Black Woman To Be Named President Of NFL Team
In July, Sandra Douglass Morgan was hired by the Las Vegas Raider as the team’s president. Morgan became the first Black woman to be hired in that role by an NFL team. She’s also the first Black woman to chair the Nevada Gaming Control Board.
Tomeka Watson Bryant Makes History In The Railroad Industry
Tomeka Watson Bryant, former a standout softball player at Elon University, made history in May after being named the first Black woman to lead a short-line railroad in the United States. Bryant is the general manager of the New Orleans Public Belt.
Austin Davis Becomes Pennsylvania’s First Black Lieutenant Governor
In November, Austin Davis became the first Black Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania. To focus on his new role, he stepped down from the House of Representatives.