This month we celebrate Black History Month. Here are just a few of the most inspirational black inspirational women in history:
Rosa Parks was one of the most influential African-American civil rights activists and has been named “the first lady of civil rights” and “the mother of the freedom movement”. On the 1st December 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus for a white passenger. Her actions led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott, a campaign against the segregation of black people.
She worked alongside Martin Luther King Jr in the campaign for equal rights for black African-Americans in the 1950s-60s.
Rosa Parks Day is an American holiday celebrated on the 4th February or 1st December in honour of her work as a civil rights leader.
Bessie Coleman was the first-ever African-American who became a pilot. She earned her international pilot license at the age of 29 and was the first Native American to do so.
She was a high-profile pilot in the United States. More than this, she made a huge difference not just in the field of Aeronautics but the world, in general. She had dreamed of making use of this skill by starting a school for African-Americans who wish to become pilots, too. Unfortunately, she died at the age of 34 in a plane crash. She was a great source of inspiration to women, especially in a male-dominated field.
Harriet Jacobs was an abolitionist, but she was better known as an African-American writer. She wrote her autobiography entitled "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl" under the pseudonym Linda Brent. She also composed letters to the New York Tribunal and also contributed to Family Papers, and became a relief worker to help runaway slaves.
Toni Morrison is an accomplished novelist, editor, and professor, and her writings are usually noted for their African American characters. Her novels are renowned for their epic themes and interesting choice of words. Some of her best-selling novels are Sula, the Song of Solomon, The Bluest Eye, Beloved, Love, A Mercy, and Jazz.
She is also a winner of a Pulitzer Prize and a Nobel Prize as a novelist. Aside from the array of book-world accolades, she has also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012.
Marguerite Anne Johnson, or better known as Maya Angelou, is a renowned poet and activist. She authored seven autobiographies and other literary pieces. Aside from being skilled in writing, she was also known in the field of performing arts for her skills in dancing, singing, acting, and directing.
Katherine Dunham is the inventor of the Dunham technique and a renowned dancer and choreographer of African-American descent. She built her own dance empire and was hailed as the queen of black dance. Katherine was also an activist, author, educator, and anthropologist.
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Wilma Rudolph was a Track and Field Olympic Athlete who represented the United States. She was also an internationally known record holder and an inspiration to all. This sports icon was hailed as "The World's Fastest Woman" in 1960.
Ida B. Wells was an African American investigative journalist, teacher, and an early leader in the civil rights movement who led an anti-lynching crusade in the United States in the 1890s.
Mary McLeod Bethune was an educator, civil rights activist and government official. She was known as the “First Lady of the Struggle,” because of her dedication to improving the lives of African Americans. She also fought for women’s rights, establishing the National Council for Negro Women in 1935.
Sojourner Truth campaigned against slavery and championed the rights of women. She is best known for her iconic speech “Ain’t I
Ella Fitzgerald is "The First Lady of Song," best known for her vocal talents, including an impressively wide vocal range partnered with a uniquely sweet voice and a whimsical flair to her singing. She is also very much recognized for her scat singing and her ability to mimic musical instruments. Her journey from her humble beginnings to her rise to stardom is truly a tale of success, heart, passion, love, and perseverance.
Coretta Scott King was the wife of the famous civil rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr., and was a civil rights activist known for her advocacy in ending injustice within the country. She was also known to work for peace and justice organizations within America.
Hattie McDaniel was a singer and actress. She is known for being the first-ever African American actress to receive an Academy Award distinction. The award was for her portrayal of the character "Mammy" in the 1939 hit film, Gone with the Wind. Hattie's career was also as notable as it was controversial.
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