1980-1989 (African-American)
1980
Black Entertainment Television

Robert Johnson launches Black Entertainment Television, providing African-Americans with more representation on TV.

1980
Valerie Thomas

Valerie Thomas creates a 3d illusion transmitter, after experimenting with flat and concave mirrors.

1981
Sam Pierce

African-American Sam Pierce appointed Secretary of HUD.

1981
Coca-Cola Invests in Black Community

Coca-Cola pumps 34 million into Black businesses and the Black community ending a national boycott called by PUSH.

1982
Lonnie Johnson

Lonnie Johnson invents and patents the “Super Soaker” water pistol.

1984
Jesse Jackson runs for President of the U.S.

1984
George Alcorn, Jr.

George Alcorn, Jr. develops the imaging x-ray spectrometer, which use the thermomigration on aluminum, earns a patent that same year.

1986
Patricia Bath

Patricia Bath invents the laserphaco probe, which helps to remove cataracts in the human eye more sufficiently.

1986
Black Family Reunion

Dr. Dorothy I. Height establishes the movement “Black Family Reunion Celebration”.

1986
1st Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday

The first national Martin Luther King Jr, holiday is celebrated on Jan 20.

1986
Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey becomes the first African American woman to host a nationally syndicated talk show.

1987
Rita Dove

African-American Rita Dove wins the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.

1987
Reginald Lewis

Reginald Lewis orchestrates buyout of Beatrice Foods to become the First African American CEO of a billion-dollar corporation.

1987
Barbara Harris

Barbara Harris is installed as the first woman bishop in the Episcopal Church.

1989
Colin Powell

Colin Powell appointed Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

1989
Ron Brown

Ronald Brown, first Black, elected chair of the Democratic National Committee.