Nike unveils ‘Watch Us Rise’ Black History Month visuals honoring inspiring leaders

Black History Month is an annual observance celebrating outstanding achievements as well as the history of prestigious African Americans.

With that, Nike has tapped various leaders of color to create powerful imagery and spread insight into their individual contributions, goals and efforts toward a future they believe in.

“I want to see my people win,” said professional BMX rider Nigel Sylvester who is featured. “I want us to feel good about ourselves and our ambitions. I want us to identify the things that we want to accomplish and then take the necessary actions needed to reach those goals.”

Sylvester continued, “The most important part is the ‘we’: being together, being a team, and being a squad that’s always here for each other.”

Other leaders featured in the collection include McKinley Nelson who is the Founder of Project sWish which is a Chicago-based community organization that uses basketball to combat street violence by providing vital resources needed within under-resourced communities.

Amanda Gorman, 19, who is an empowering published author as well as the first-ever Youth Poet Laureate of the United States of America, is also featured.

“We might look different,” Gorman says in a statement. “Our blackness might show itself both phenotypically and culturally in a wide myriad of ways, but there’s a certain commonality in what we’re willing to fight for. 

The powerful “Watch Us Rise” BHM ’20 imagery also gives us a glimpse of a new Black History Month collection of sneakers from Nike which will officially be released on Feb. 19. 

To further push the envelope for Black History Month, Nike is also recognizing 20 U.S.-based nonprofits that offer play and sport programs, and support education and career development, with a total of $500,000 in grants.

-ABC