This year’s Black History Month marks 48 years since its inception. With only 28 days (or 29 if it’s a leap year!) there’s not much time to honor all great Black people! We’ve got some amazing and inspiring Black women that deserve to have the spotlight!
Born in 1914, Daisy Bates was an activist, journalist, and publisher of the Arkansas State Press. She was a key figure in the Little Rock Integration Crisis in 1957, when Black students were attempting to attend the same schools as their White counterparts in Arkansas. She worked closely with the children who were later known as the Little Rock Nine (Ernest Green, Elizabeth Eckford, Jefferson Thomas, Terrence Roberts, Carlotta Walls LaNier, Minnijean Brown, Gloria Ray Karlmark, Thelma Mothershed, and Melba Pattillo Beals). She later was a member of the President Lyndon B. Johnson administration.
- Fannie Lou Hamer
Ever heard of the phrase, “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired,”? Well, you can give credit to Fannie Lou Hamer for that one! Hamer was born in 1917 – a time where Black people and women couldn’t vote. So it’s not surprise that during the civil rights movement she fought to get as many Black voters registered as possible in Mississippi (she was apart of the Mississippi Freedom Summer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in 1964). Because of her efforts, she made it to the National Women’s Hall of Fame.
- Bessie Coleman
We’ve all heard of Amelia Earhart, but what about Bessie Coleman? She actually earned her pilot’s licence two years before Earhart in 1921! But get this – she earned it in France. She was denied admission from American aviation schools because of her race and gender, so she learned the French language and decided to start her career there. She was known for her popular aviatrix, drawing thousands of people to her air shows. She died in a plane-related accident in 1926, and many pilots honor her by flying over her grave site.
- Hattie McDaniel
Gone With The Wind is an American classic – and Hattie McDaniel was a black woman who starred in it! Many people criticize her role in it as a mammy (a black woman depicted as rotund, homely and matronly) – and rightfully so. But her role in Gone With The Wind granted her and Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1940 (and she was the first Black woman to get the award) and helped paved the way for many other Black, femme entertainers.
- Augusta Braxton Baker
Appalled by the depiction of black characters in the books available to black children in the early 1920s, Baker had a special interest in creating children’s literature that portrayed Blackness in a positive, yet realistic light. Her parents were school teachers, and she followed in their field and went to State University of New York at Albany for teaching, where Eleanor Roosevelt (who was then the Governor of New York) heavily advocated for Baker to attend. In 1961, Baker became coordinator of children’s services in all 82 branches of the New York Public Library system. Baker later became a consultant on our favorite childhood show – Sesame Street.
From pilots, to actresses, to librarians, these Black women are vastly different but all have one thing in common – they let nothing stop them in a time where everything was made to stop them. We can all learn a thing or two from the women, regardless of our race. Strength, perseverance, and determination can get a woman far – and it certainly got these ladies far! They became fearless 😉
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One more thing! Remember… go out there and be Fearless! No matter what you set your mind to, YOU CAN DO IT! Did you download my free e-book yet? I know that you’ll love it!
Rayven – Team #SheBecameFearless