Five Black Women Who Made History

February is Black History month, so it’s fitting that we remember the struggles and achievements of black women as they strove for equality. Those women set the bar high and because of them we will continue fighting for the racism that is still steeped in our society. Here are some black women who beat the odds and made history. 

Sister Rosetta Tharpe

A pioneer of rock and roll and an accomplished guitarist, she was active from the 40s and into the 60s. Her music, especially her guitar playing, inspired those like Elvis Presley. She was both an icon and ahead of her time with her sound.

 

Wilma Rudolph

This Olympic sprinter overcame polio to compete in the 1956 Melbourne games at just 16 years old and took home bronze. Then four years later in Rome she broke three world records to win gold in the 100m, 200m, and the 4x100m relay.

 

Ida B. Wells

Ida was an activist for African-American and women’s rights, a journalist, and a public speaker. She spoke out against lynching both in the South and abroad through the late 1800's and into the early 1900's. She was one of the founding members of NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People).

 

Looney Gordon

She was a chemist and one of three women to pioneer the whooping cough vaccine in 1942. Their work caused the rate of deaths from whooping cough to drop from 35% to 3% in less than ten years.

University of Michigan

 

Mae Jemison

In 1992 aboard The Endeavor, Jemison became the first black woman in space. Not only is she an astronaut but she is also a doctor and engineer. You can follow her on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/maejemison?lang=en