Name: Kahlil Greene
Hometown: Germantown, Md.
Now Lives: In a spacious two-bedroom apartment in New Haven, Conn., just outside the Yale campus.
Claim to Fame: Mr. Greene was elected as Yale’s first Black student body president in 2019, when he was a sophomore majoring in history. Off-campus, he is known to his more than 447,000 TikTok followers as a self-described “Gen-Z historian” who expounds on lesser-known aspects of American history like the Tuskegee medical experiment, as well as current events. Last summer, he helped raise more than $57,000 for social justice organizations following the death of George Floyd. “I see myself as a researcher and communicator primarily,” he said.
Big Break: Mr. Greene joined TikTok in January at the suggestion of a friend, but was initially reluctant “because of the misappropriation that goes on the platform,” he said. But he soon realized the public education potential. His first TikTok, posted the day before Martin Luther King Day, examined what he called “the intense amount of white-washing that happens on MLK Day” in mainstream and social media. The video has garnered 1.4 million views. Subsequent posts have tackled the Tulsa massacre of 1921 and other “covered-up parts” of American history.