Black Women in Politics You Didn't Know About

We all know of people like Kamala Harris and Michelle Obama. We know them as well-known politicians who have an enormous and profound effect on Americans. Well what about the countless other black women who have done an incredible amount for politics? Many black women in politics have been ignored, gas-lighted, harassed, and more. They are many times not taken seriously, and much of their work is credited to white men. It’s time to start paying attention to the black women in politics who have done incredible work, but are on the whole - unknown.

  1. 1. Alice Dunnigan

    Alice Dunnigan was the first female African-American White House correspondent. She was also both a civil rights activist as well as an author. She was largely ignored by the White House until Kennedy became president and an article about her was posted. She was credited as being the first black journalist who accompanied a president (Harry S. Truman) while traveling. She started her career in the midst of segregation. She had to sit in servant sections in order to cover a story, and oftentimes she would be barred from entering at all. Despite all of that, she was still adamant in her career leading her to the position she is in now. We can thank her for the larger amount of black female correspondents in the White House today.

  2. 2. Andrea Jenkins

    Andrea Jenkins is known as the first openly transgender black woman elected to public office. She was elected to office in 2017 and since then she has advocated on issues such as climate change, police brutality, transgender issues, and more.

  3. 3. Shirley Chisholm

    Shirley Chisholm was the first black woman to be elected in the House of Representatives in 1969. As a democrat from New York, she advocated for immigration rights, rights for the poor, women's rights, and education for children. She also became the first black person of a major party to run for president in 1971.

  4. 4. Barbara-Rose Collins

    Another member of the House, Barbara-Rose was a single mother known for advocating for minorities, and helping the poor. She was even arrested for protesting at the White House on the difficulty Haitian refugees face in trying to enter the country.

  5. 5. Yvonne Brathwaite Burke

    Burke was the first black woman from California to win a house seat. She was also the first congresswoman to give birth and be granted maternity leave while in office. A huge women’s rights advocate, she fought for the protection of pregnant women against workplace discrimination.

This is by no means a comprehensive list, because if it was, it would be a huge novel. Black women all around the world are making life-changing steps to improving politics. Many of them are paving the way for future generations. Unfortunately, black women have historically been, and continue to be, overlooked and ignored. To combat this, get to know the women of color in politics in America. Don’t continue to let them be ignored. Recognize them and their work. It is time to give black women in politics their appreciation.

Pic Credits: 

1,2,3,4,5

References: https://www.biography.com/news/shirley-chisholm-black-women-congress-house-representatives

https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/23/us/african-american-women-in-history/index.html