Every February, we celebrate Black History Month. Black history month celebrates the excellent black Americans that have achieved greatness for their culture. They went through the struggle in order to prove that they are capable to fight for what they believe in and achieve equal civil rights. Usually during black history month, we honor civil right leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr, and Malcolm X, but we don’t talk about powerful black women that have achieved rights for women in society. There are great women in black history that have challenged the status quo and won. As we reached the end of this short month, let’s celebrate black women who have made history and dared to challenge the obstacles they faced every day.
1. Harriet Tubman (1822-1913)
Harriet Tubman was born a slave, but escaped slavery when she followed the North Star to the northern states. Harriet Tubman is mostly known for using the Underground Railroad to help other slaves escape from their masters and become free African Americans. Even during the civil war, Harriet Tubman worked as a nurse and a spy for the union. Harriet Tubman proved that she was a selfless woman who continued to try to save others while risking her life every day.
2. Hattie McDaniel (1895-1952)
Hattie McDaniel was the first African-American woman to win an Academy Award for best supporting actress as her role as Mammy in Gone with the Wind. Hattie McDaniel faced racism when she won her academy award. She accepted the award in a segregated hotel. Even though many didn’t want her to be there, she stayed humble and accepted her award with grace. She was also the ultimate entertainer; she could sing and act. She was a comedian, radio performer, and television performer. And she was the first black woman to sing on the radio. She opened doors for many performers.
3. Oprah Winfrey (1954)
Everyone knows Oprah. She is your go to woman when you need something to watch on TV. She had one of the most popular talk shows for twenty-five years . Starting out as a black woman being watch by millions of white women, she provided self-help advice and inspirational stories from all cultures and people. Also, Oprah has represented the ultimate woman, achieving success all by herself even through adversity. Oprah is one of the greatest and also one of the richest people in the world.
4. Tyra Banks (1973)
Tyra Banks doesn’t appear to be the perfect candidate for Black History Month, but Tyra Banks has helped black women make it into the world of modeling and fashion. Tyra Banks was one of the first African American women on the cover of GQ Magazine and Sports-Illustrated swimsuit edition. Also she was the first African American woman to be chosen for the cover of the Victoria Secret catalog and selected to be a Victoria Secret Angel. Tyra has also help other women to achieve their dreams of becoming a model through her show America’s Next Top Model.
5. Women during the Civil Rights Movement.
Women who fought during the civil rights movement are not as well known as their male counterparts. Woman fought hard to advocate the rights of each citizen, no matter the race or gender. Many women worked with well-known civil right leaders and created movements in order to achieve equal rights. Woman like Daisy Bates (1914-1999) who founded the Arkansas State Press, a weekly paper about African Americans. Prathia Hall (1940-2002) who was a civil rights activist that was shot by multiple people and dreamed for better rights and a better life. Rosa Parks (1913-2005) who defied the rule of all black people in the back of the bus and fought for not only her rights, but the rights of others, and Angela Davis (1944), a great writer and activist for not only black people, but any oppressed group.