11 Black Women in History That Made a Difference

These collection of black women in history will amaze you with their strength, will power and achievements.

Fannie Lou Hamer

fannie lou hamer

Hamer is best recognized for championing black ballot rights, especially in the state of Mississippi, one of several hot areas for racially inspired voter suppression. She dealt with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee to drive black voter enrollment, regardless of the physical violence and also threats received from white supremacists who often worked to frighten or strongly attack blacks attempting to vote.

Hamer brought the issue to the national spotlight throughout the 1964 Democratic National Convention, pointedly calling out Mississippi’s all-white delegation. Hamer’s eventual, televised testimony of the struggle was so powerful that then President Lyndon Johnson called an immediate press conference to get it off the air.

First Black Female Pilot

Bessie Coleman

bessie coleman

Elizabeth Coleman, often called as ‘Bessie’, was the first black female pilot. Born in 1892, Coleman rose to popularity in national airshows in Europe as well as the United States of America. After an awful mechanical errors, she crashed her aircraft during an air show in Jacksonville, dying on impact at the age of 34. Her legacy has proceeded nonetheless where in 1995 she is put up on United States postal stamps and has been given a collection of posthumous honors across the country for her pioneering activities, energy and passion for aviation.

First Black Woman on GQ

Tyra Banks

tyra banks

Tyra Banks is among one of the most powerful supermodels as well as tv celebrities in the media today. She was born in 1973 in the golden state of California.

After shooting for a print piece for Seventeen magazine, she rose up the fashion modeling rankings. Throughout her first appearance in Paris in 1991, she received 25 runway shows.

Tyra was the very first African-American women to appear on the cover of GQ, the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, and the Victoria’s Secret lingerie catalogue.

Angela Davis

angela davis

Angela Davis was born in 1944 in the state of Alabama and is most well-known for her work as a communist campaigner throughout the civil rights movements. She also served as a member of the Black Panther movement.

Angela’s Marxist as well as revolutionary activism saw her name figure on the FBI’s most wanted list in the 1960s. And in 1972, she was sentenced to death for having actually participated in a deadly shooting.

Thanks to an international mobilization, she was finally acquitted and subsequently became a symbol of the battle for black people’s rights.

First Black Woman in Public Office

Grace Hamilton

grace hamilton

Hamilton was born February 10, 1907, and was the very first African-American woman to hold a public office in deep South. She was chosen to the Georgia General Assembly in 1966. She served her district in Atlanta for 18 years and also was known as “one of the most reliable woman legislator the state has ever seen.” Hamilton was later credited for helping Andrew Young to be the first black to represent Atlanta’s Fifth District in Congress in 1972.

Before holding public position, Hamilton was the executive director of the Atlanta Urban League (AUL) and also led initiatives in education, healthcare, housing, as well as voting rights for African Americans while still working within the boundaries of segregation. She also held another public position, as advisor to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission from January 1985 to January 1987. She died on June 17, 1992.

Ruby Bridges

ruby bridges

Although she lived just a few blocks away from an all-white elementary school, segregation required Ruby Bridges to travel for miles every day to attend an all-black preschool. In 1960, Bridges was thrust right into the nationwide spotlight at the young age of 6, as the first black child to integrate an all-white elementary school in the South. This came less than a decade after the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education judgment overruled school segregation.

Responses to her admission, and to the suggestion of school desegregation consequently led to precipitated protests that included threats of physical violence. Bridges and her mother had to be escorted to the school by government marshals because other officials in the state did not want to protect her. In spite of the racist backlash, Bridges and her family held firm, helping pave the way for other students who would certainly follow her footsteps. Now, decades later, she still publicly speaks about her experience.

First Black Woman in Congress

Shirley Chisholm

shirley chisholm

Shirley Chisholm was the first black woman to be chosen to Congress, winning in New York in 1968 and retiring from office in 1983. She campaigned for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1972, but is best known for her contribution on several Congressional committees throughout her career. A feisty politician, Chisholm has also been recognized in popular culture and in the political and academic field for her symbolic importance and career achievements.

First African Woman to Win Nobel Peace Prize

Wangari Maathai

wangari maathai

Wangari Maathai, the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts to conserve Kenya’s forests, died Sunday after a long battle with ovarian cancer.

In 1977, Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement to plant trees in hopes of helping poor, Kenyans in the rural, especially women, by stopping environmental and social problems from further worsening.

Maathai won the Peace Prize in 2004 after sustaining death threats, whippings as well as being tear-gassed at a demonstration as a result of her dedication to forest preservation as well as her anti-corruption movement.

First Black Woman Legislator in U.S. Supreme Court

Violette Neatly Anderson

violette neatly anderson

Anderson made history when she became the first black woman to argue a case before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1926. But that amazing first was just the culmination of what was a fantastic journey of firsts in the legal field. Anderson made history as well as the very first woman to finish law school in Illinois, and the first black woman assigned to the position of assistant prosecuting attorney in Chicago, as well as the first black female vice-president of the Cook County Bar Association serving from 1920 to 1926.

First Black Woman to Earn Doctor of Science

Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumple

dr rebecca lee crumple

Dr. Crumple is acknowledged as the first African American woman to earn a doctor of science degree, having graduated in 1863 from the New England Female Medical College. She is also the author of Book of Medical Discourses, which focuses on healthcare for women and children.

First Black Principal Ballerina

Misty Copeland

misty copeland

Misty Copeland made history as professional dancer by being the first black principal ballerina at the American Ballet Theatre. She is also known for her charity work, and also the theater’s latest production of “The Nutcracker”.

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