Fannie Lou Hamer was a powerful public speaker who fought tirelessly for the rights of African Americans to vote safely, despite the danger to her life.
These 3 brave female astronauts made history despite the odds, and paved the way for women in space and science after them.
Bessie Coleman (1892-1926) was the first African-American woman to become a licensed airplane pilot. She persevered through discrimination and danger in order to fly in the early days of aviation. Like many aviators of the early 20th century, she made her living as a barnstormer, similar to today’s stunt pilots. People lined up to see […]
Cathay Williams (1844 – 1892), a.k.a. William Cathay, was the first known African American woman to enlist in the United States Army, and the only black woman documented to serve in the US army in the 19th century. Born a slave in Independence, Missouri in 1844, Cathay worked as a house servant on a nearby […]
Wilma Rudolph (1940–1994) was considered the fastest woman in the world in the ‘60s, and the first American woman to win three gold medals in track & field in the 1960 Olympics. This was the first year that the Olympics were covered internationally on television, which helped Wilma become an international star. In the 1960 […]
“I am a woman who came from the cotton fields of the South. From there I was promoted to the washtub. From there I was promoted to the cook kitchen. And from there I promoted myself into the business of manufacturing hair goods and preparations….I have built my own factory on my own ground.” Madam […]
Queen Nzinga Mbande was a ruthless and powerful 17th century African ruler of the Ndongo and Matamba Kingdoms (modern-day Angola). Nzinga fearlessly and cleverly fought for the freedom and stature of her kingdoms against the Portuguese, who were colonizing the area at the time. Around the turn of the 17th century, the independent kingdoms and […]
Edmonia Lewis was the first African American artist to earn international fame for her artwork. She earned a living as a sculptor and portraitist and was famous for several of her works, including a bust of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw of which she sold over 100 plaster copies. Born Mary Edmonia Lewis in 1844 in […]
Nana Asma’u (1793-1863) was a princess, poet, and teacher, and is considered the precursor to modern feminism in Africa. She had such an impact of the education of women, that in Nigeria today, many Islamic women’s organisations, schools, and meeting halls are named after her. Nana was a member of the Fodio clan who ruled […]
Eugenia Charles (1919-2005) was the Prime Minister of Dominica from 1980 to 1995. She was Dominica’s first and only female prime minister, and Dominica’s longest-serving prime minister. She became interested in law while working at the colonial magistrate’s court. After studying law at the University College of the University of Toronto and the London School […]