Black History Month: Influential Women

February is most popularly known as the month of love. It is a time when people focus on their significant others and their friends. Schools host parties and talk about the history of St. Valentine, taking time away from those who should be highlighted for making incredible advances in the United States. February is when most influential Black people are recognized in schools, but even then they are not awarded the time they deserve. Here are five Black women not mentioned in history books:

1. Ida B. Wells

Wells was an anti-lynching activist, and she was the first to document the violence against non-white people in the South. Her writings, including The Red Record and Southern Horrors, initiated an anti-lynching campaign.

2. Marian Anderson

Anderson was the first Black person of any gender to perform at the Metropolitan Opera in 1955. She was also one of the first Black women to be invited to perform at the White House. She was later awarded the National Medal of Arts by Ronald Reagan in 1986.

3. Constance Baker Motley

Motley was the first Black woman to become a federal judge, and she was also a civil rights activist. During her time, she implemented her activism by focusing on civil rights cases.

4. Marsha P. Johnson

Johnson was an LGBTQIA+ activist who helped lead the Stonewall riots. The Netflix documentary, The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson, is based on her life.

5. Jane BolinBolin was the first Black woman to graduate from Yale Law School. She became the nation’s first Black female judge in 1939.

This list is not extensive and is only the tip of the iceberg. I highly encourage you to read more about these and other Black women, and I also encourage you to read their works. Their accomplishments affect all of us, regardless of race, gender, or age.