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5 Amazing Black Women Who Have Influenced Our Society

Black women have contributed to our nation’s growth in many different ways throughout history. February is a time of year for all to recognize them, however, they deserve to be honored daily.

In today’s society the odds are stacked against women and they’re stacked even higher against women of color. Here are five kick-ass women who have gone down in history, breaking barriers and defending the rights of others.



1. Angela Davis:

Angela Davis is famous for her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement. Early on, she was a part of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Black Panther Party.

Davis is a known advocate for abolishing prisons and is the author of “Are Prisons Obsolete?”  The book makes the connection of the racist ideology behind incarceration to slavery.  

Today she is Distinguished Professor Emerita in the History of Consciousness and Feminist Studies Departments at the University of California, Santa Cruz” (UC Santa Cruz, 2015).



2. Janet Mock:

Janet Mock started her career working for People and has since worked at Entertainment Tonight, Marie Claire magazine and MSNBC. Mock’s first memoir, “Redefining Realness,” was on the New York Times bestsellers list and her second, “Surpassing Certainty,” will be out for sale in June.

Mock is a trans rights advocate who created the hashtag #GirlsLikeUs in 2012 to empower other trans women. Among many other accomplishments, Mock produced the HBO film “The Trans List.”



3. Kimberlé Crenshaw:

Kimberlé Crenshaw is a scholar who specializes in race and gender, she works at the University of California in the School of Law, teaching civil rights, critical race studies and constitutional law.

Crenshaw is widely known for coining the term “intersectionality” in 1998 to describe the presence of multiple oppressions, such as race, class, gender etc. She was named Fellows Outstanding Scholar by the American Bar Foundation in 2016.



4. Anita Hill:

Lawyer, activist and educator, Anita Hill raised national attention in a groundbreaking 1991 televised hearing. Hill was aggressively questioned by a committee of 14 male legislators about sexual harassment allegations towards now, U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Clarence Thomas.

Although no charges were brought against Thomas, this forever changed the conversation surrounding harassment in the workplace. “Confirmation” is the 2016 HBO TV film, in which Hill was portrayed by “Scandal” actress Kerry Washington.



5. Patrisse Cullors:

Along with Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi, Patrisse Cullors started the movement of Black Lives Matter in 2013. Cullors uses art as a tool for social justice activism. In 2016 she, and the other co-founders did a TED Talk with lessons and leadership advice on organizing social movements.  

On Monday, April 3, Cullors will be coming to Minnesota State University, Mankato as the speaker for the 2017 Carol Ortman Perkins Lecture.

Black History Month is a wonderful reminder of the amazing women who have influenced our society. Even though just February is dedicated to black history, these women and their stories need to be told and celebrated all year around.




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