8 Amazing Black Women that Changed History
Here at BD, we know a thing or two about the importance of raising strong black women. As a female and black-owned business, we know just how far a little #BlackGirlMagic can bring you in life. This is why we are delighted to celebrate Women's History Month in March, following Black History Month. This month, first established in 1987, is dedicated to the commemoration, encouragement, student, observance and celebration of the vital role of women in American history. To celebrate this month, we have decided to highlight 8 black women of women's history month that inspire us to #BeDifferent.
1. Michelle Obama
It'd be difficult to discuss the importance of black women throughout history without mentioning the ultimate first lady, Michelle Obama. Born Michelle LaVaughn Robinson in Chicago, Illinois, Michelle wasted no time reaching her #SquadGoals. When she was just a child, Michelle skipped the second grade and was later accepted into the gifted student program at her school. This allowed her to study French and to take advanced biology courses. Michelle's thirst for knowledge took her to Princeton University, where she established a reading program for the children of the school's manual laborers. After becoming first lady with 44th president Barack Obama's inauguration, she went to work improving education and health opportunities for students in America. In an effort to combat the childhood obesity epidemic, she revamped the education system's food program and instated programs like the Let's Move! initiative. Michelle also began the Reach Higher initiative, which works to inspire young people to explore higher education and career development opportunities. Overall, this first lady took her knowledge and skill to change the lives of other American girls and boys forever. Now that's what we call #BlackGirlMagic!
2. Harris County Judges
Okay, so we may have cheated on this pick a little bit considering this group consists of 17 remarkable women. This group of women made history in 2018 after being elected to Texas' most populated county, Harris County. With over 200 years of combined experience, this group ran a campaign with the slogan "Black Girl Magic Texas" which let them run away to victory. This team of outstanding, educated women will go on to represent the interests and needs of one of the most ethnically and racially diverse metropolitan areas in the country. Because when they win, we all win!
3. Angela Davis
Having grown up in Alabama as a young girl, Angela Davis knows a thing or two about facing prejudice based on her gender and color. A political activist, Davis dedicated her life to fighting for gender equality, prison reform and alliance across color lines. Perhaps best known for her literary works including Women, Race and Class and The Meaning of Freedom, Davis shared her knowledge on the subject with students of the University of California, Santa Cruz until 2008. Most recently, she was a featured speaker and honorary co-chair of the Women's March on Washington in 2017. Davis proves that no matter how young or how old you may feel, there's always time to make a change!
4. Ida B. Wells
Another remarkable black woman that used her voice to incite justice and change, Ida B. Wells is a journalist and civil rights leader. Wells is proof that academic hard work can change the world. A skilled journalist, Wells used her talents to shed light on life in the American south as a black person. Born into slavery during the Civil War, Wells fought against segregation and discrimination while exposing the prevalence of lynching in the south to foreign audiences. She also was one of the founders of the National Association of Color Women's club, creating the group to address issues of civil rights and women's suffrage.
5. Tarana Burke
When it comes to women's rights, movements like the #MeToo movement have taken center stage in recent years. Though this movement may have only gained traction with the media recently, Tarana Burke first coined the phrase in 2006. Burke used the phrase to raise awareness of sexual harassment, abuse and assault in society. As senior director of the Girls for Gender Equality group in Brooklyn, Burke shares her own experiences with abuse to create a safe environment for young women to do the same. Burke is also focused on the overall well-being of women of color. It's women like Burke that can spark a movement that changes the lives of women world-wide.
6. Dr. Rosemarie Allen
When it comes to representation and support of all melanin skin tones in the educational system, Dr. Rosemarie Allen is what we call #Goals. After entering the public school system shortly after the decision of Brown vs. the Board of Education, Allen was subjected to subpar treatment from public school teachers that lacked experience with black children. Based on their biases, these teachers would often discourage Allen, stunting her progress. One teacher event told Allen that she wasn't destined for college, despite her 3.8 GPA average. In a response to these experiences, Allen made it her mission to fight for the elimination of systematic inequality that targets vulnerable and marginalized children in the world of education. Allen works as an educator and public speaker to expose racial biases and to help teachers gain a deeper and more compassionate understand of their students. She helps teachers show children that they can #BeDifferent and #DoAnything!
7. Dr. Mae Jemison
Dr. Mae Jemison is an example of #BlackExcellence that is just out of this world. In 1992, she made history by becoming the first black woman to travel to space. Jemison was born in Alabama, where she went on to pursue further education in 1977 at Standford University. But she didn't stop there. Jemison then went on to receive her medical degree in 1981 from Cornell. At this time, Jemison used her degree to practice medicine, carry out medical research and to aid the world with her knowledge by joining the Peace Corps. But, again, she didn't stop there. Jemison then became the first black woman ever to the accepted into NASA's training program. She later made history as a member of the Endeavor flight team.
8. Dorothy Height
Named the "unsung heroine" of the civil rights era by the New York Times, Dorothy Height is a name that is inseparable from our nation's past. An advocate for improving the lives of black women and women's rights as a whole, Height used her #BlackGirlMagic to incite change. She began her career following college as a social worker in Harlem, NY and later moved on to work with the National Council of Negro Women. Here, she focused on ending lynching and worked to reconstruct the criminal justice system. Height's work could not be ignored, as she later had names the likes of Eleanor Roosevelt, Eisenhower, and Lyndon B. Johnson seek her council on racial issues. Her hard work earned her a Congressional Gold Medal in 2004, signifying the lasting impact she has made on our society.
Women's History Month also marks the turn of the seasons! Gear up for summertime and spring break fun with our fanny packs and travel bags perfect for any sister.