International Women’s Day: 15 Remarkable Black Women in History

International Women’s Day is every year on March 8; women worldwide commemorate International Women’s Day to honor and celebrate women’s contributions to society’s advancement. Also, this day aims to empower women, increase awareness of gender inequity, and pay tribute to individuals who have broken down barriers and paved the way for others.

This blog will showcase some outstanding black women who have contributed significantly to society and paved the way for other black women. Although hundreds and maybe thousands of black women have paved the way for others, including our mothers and grandmothers, here are just a few heroes. I plan to add more women to this list. These women have shown courage, grit, and resilience despite enduring injustice and oppression. As a result, they have left a lasting legacy that continues to motivate future generations.

15 Remarkable Black Women in History

1. Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman was a political and abolitionist activist from the United States. She escaped slavery and joined the Underground Railroad as a “conductor,” helping hundreds of enslaved people find freedom. She supported women’s suffrage and worked as a spy for the Union during the Civil War.

Black Women
Harriet Tubman

2. Sojourner Truth

Sojourner Truth was a pro-slavery and pro-rights women’s African American, and she fled slavery and rose to prominence as a strong supporter of both causes. In 1851, she delivered the infamous “Ain’t I a Woman?” speech, which questioned the accepted ideas about race and gender at the time.

Sojourner Truth

3. Shirley Chisholm

Shirley Chisholm was a politician, educator, and writer from the United States. The first black woman to be elected to the US Congress, she held the position for seven terms. In 1972, she also bid for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination as the first woman and black candidate.

Shirley Chisholm

4. Maya Angelou:

An American poet, memoirist, and civil rights advocate, Maya Angelou. She is most known for her autobiographical book, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” describing her experiences as a young black woman growing up in the Jim Crow South. Her writing has significantly influenced African American literature and still serves as an inspiration to many women today.

Maya Angelou. (2023, February 28). In Wikipedia.

5. Ella Baker

Ella Baker was a civil rights organizer and activist from the United States. She collaborated with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and the NAACP. She supported community empowerment and grassroots mobilization as means of enacting change.

Ella Baker photo
Ella Baker

6. Katherine Johnson

An American mathematician Katherine Johnson served as a NASA employee during the Space Race. She determined the flight paths for space missions, such as the Apollo 11 mission that led to the landing of the first humans on the moon. Being a black woman in a predominately male career, she experienced discrimination and sexism but persisted and significantly impacted space exploration.

Katherine Johnson

7. Toni Morrison:

Toni Morrison was a novelist, essayist, and editor from the United States. In 1993, she became the first black woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Her books, including “Beloved” and “The Bluest Eye,” address race, identity, and African American cultural issues.

International women's day
Toni Morrison

8. Audre Lorde.

She is an Author, feminist, and civil rights activist. Audre Lorde was an American. In the early days of intersectional feminism, she led the charge in promoting the rights of black women, lesbians, and other underrepresented groups. Throughout her poetry and articles, she wrote extensively about race, gender, and sexuality.

Audre Lorde. (2023, March 5). In Wikipedia.

9. Fannie Lou Hamer

Fannie Lou Hamer pioneered and led the American civil rights movement. She had a significant role in the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, an organization that battled for African Americans’ ability to join the Democratic Party. She co-founded the National Women’s Political Caucus and fought to register African Americans as voters.

Fannie Lou Hamer

10. Alice Walker

Alice Walker is a poet, writer, and activist from the United States. She is well known for the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction winner “The Color Purple,” which wrote. She has written extensively about racial, gender, and social justice issues.

Alice Walker

11. Wilma Rudolph:

The first black woman to win three gold medals at the same Olympics was the United States track and field athlete Wilma Rudolph. She overcame polio as a child and other health problems to become one of the top athletes of her era.

Wilma Rudolph. (2023, March 6). In Wikipedia.

12. Angela Bassett

An American actress and director, Angela Bassett. She has received multiple nominations for her theater, television, and film work, including an Academy Award nomination for “What’s Love Got to Do with It.” She also has an outspoken supporter of social justice issues and the arts.

Angela Bassett. (2023, March 8). In Wikipedia.

13. Lorraine Hansberry

Lorraine Hansberry was a writer and activist from the United States. The drama “A Raisin in the Sun” by this author, which examines the tribulations of an African American family residing in Chicago’s South Side, is best known. In addition, she was a well-known defender of LGBT and civil rights.

Lorraine Hansberry. (2023, March 1). In Wikipedia.

14. Bessie Coleman

Bessie Coleman was the first black woman to obtain a pilot’s license and an American aviator. She left the United States because of discrimination to pursue her ambition of flying there. When she eventually returned to the country, she rose to fame as a performer and encouraged other black women to enter the aviation industry.

Bessie Coleman

15. Gwendolyn Brooks

The first black woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry was Gwendolyn Brooks, an American poet and novelist, in 1950. Her writing frequently examined Black American lives and social justice, gender, and racial concerns. She inspired generations of poets and writers because she was a vital member of the Black Arts Movement.

Gwendolyn Brooks

These inspiring women have opened the way for other black women to pursue their goals, fight for justice and equality, and constructively influence society. We should honor and commemorate their contributions to history and culture on International Women’s Day and every day.

Let’s commemorate and appreciate these black women and those who have relentlessly worked for justice and equality as we observe International Women’s Day. Recognizing that there is still much work to be done to ensure that all women have equal opportunities and access to resources, let’s continue to fight for women’s rights and gender equality.

What Black women have inspired you? Leave your response in the comments, and I may add it to this list.

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