5 Lesser-Known Black Women Who Disrupted History

Women of African descent have been leaning in and changing video games since their earliest days in the Americas. Such an attitude is exactly what it took to merely survive the horrors of bondage and Jim Crow long enough to stimulate present-day generations of their descendants a reality. For some of our foremothers, when the determination to thrive met with a unique possibility, history was made. While all their narratives could fill libraries, here are some of the names that every American needs to know 😛 TAGEND

Shirley Chisholm

An undeniable force-out known as Shirley Chisholm began smashing down a number of barriers forty eight years ago, thereby leaving a trail for upstarts like Geraldine A. Ferraro, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama to follow. In 1968, Chisholm became the First African-American woman elected to Congress. Later she was the first girl to serve on the ultra powerful Rules Committee. In 1972, the tenacious Chisholm made the historic decision to become the first major-party black nominee for President of the United States, and the first girl to attempt the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination.

During her hour on Capitol Hill, Chisholm did not allow the enmity of the political boys club to prevent her from being an effective advocate for low income Americans. She worked to protect the government-funded food stamps program and also helped to install the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children( WIC ). Chisholm stepped ahead of popular opinion when she vehemently opposed the Vietnam War. She also rallied for education reform and fought for immigrant rights. In addition to her legislative record, she left her mark of leadership on Congress as a founding member of both the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Womens Caucus.

Harriet Wilson

Harriet Wilson published the autobiographical in 1859, a feat which induced her the first African American novelist. The novelist is also especially noteworthy for revolutionary creative options she made in crafting her narrative. Until, slavery themed literature in the United States catered to white audiences and focused on the evils of the bondage in the South. Wilsons novel, in stark contrast, was quite revolutionary chiefly because it reads as an bold anti-capitalist critique of the social-economic exploitation of black people by white people in northern states. Another game changing facet of Wilsons work: the tale was written for black, rather than white, readers. Elements of Wilsons novel challenged the prevail notions of womanhood in western literature, which centered around the middle and upper class white woman as the paradigm of femininity. And, eventually, dismantled the conceptualization of black childhood depicted in Uncle Toms Cabin.

Anna Julia Cooper

Anna Julia Cooper was born enslaved and yet became a intellectual and philosophy pioneer who set the Black in Feminist thought. She received her B.A. from Oberlin in 1884, and then returned to earn a M.A. in mathematics in 1887. During her hour at Oberlin, she spoke out against the academic segregation of women students and shunned what she considered the inferior dames course in favor of the gentlemans course .~ ATAGEND At age 65, she got her PhD from the University of Paris-Sorbonne and went on to write two volumes in French, and.

Coopers 1892 book is considered to be a groundbreaking collection of feminist philosophy, standpoint hypothesi, and epistemology, but also for Critical Philosophy of Race and African American doctrine .~ ATAGEND This prescient text of feminist scholarship places Cooper among the founders of the black feminist movement. Cooper introduces the framework for discussing inter-sectionality of race and gender, and denounces both the early womens motion and black male social activists for further marginalizing black women while white women and black humen grasp for advancements for themselves. Cooper preserves therein that the realization of true racial and gender equality hinged upon societys therapy of black women 😛 TAGEND

only the BLACK WOMAN can say when and where I enter, in the quiet, undisputed dignity of my womanhood, without violence and without suing or special patronage, then and there the whole Negro race enters with me.

Madam C.J. Walker

Born Sarah Breedlove, Madam CJ Walker is distinguished as the first female self-made millionaire in the United States .~ ATAGEND She achieved this distinction by identifying and cultivating a consumer market previously taken for granted beauty products for black females. Walker launched her business during an epoch when women and black people could not go the bank for capital( or even vote ). To overcome the obstacles inherent in bootstrapping, this business visionary build a sales network, much like todays Mary Kay system, to promote her products. This network simultaneously provided entrepreneurship a chance for other black Americans, who then went on to out earn skilled white labors of the era. Open your own shop; procure prosperity and liberty, one of Madam Walkers brochures announced .~ ATAGEND

Walker was also a formidable philanthropist and activist. As the first free child of formerly enslaved mothers, Walker never forgot her connection to the community that induced her luck. She donated liberally to organizations like the NAACP and the YMCA, and various schools and orphanages. Yet, despite her accomplishments and acts of kindnes, she continued to face obstacles posed by the intersectionality of race and gender. For example, Walker was initially given the cold shoulder by high profile black male leaders of her day, such as Booker T. Washington.

Honorable Mention: Christiane Taubira

Former Justice Minister of France, Christiane Taubira was born in French Guiana, a country in the Americas heavily affected by the TransAtlantic Slave trade. Until her late January 2016 resignation in objection to proposed discriminatory laws, Taubira was one of a very small number of black legislators in France, and ultimately the highest ranking member of that elite group. She faced racists tauntings throughout her career from some French people and politicians, including one which referred to her as an ape .~ ATAGEND But none of this kept her from becoming known as a champion for the marginalized. Christiane Taubira worked passionately for the rights of women and minorities in France. She pushed for reparations for France’s part in slavery and spearheaded the 2001 law which recognised the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade as a crime against humanity. As Minister of Justice, Taubira introduced the legislation which legalised marriages and adoptions by same sex couples in France. She warned her compatriots of the connection between terrorism and socio-economic isolation, citing fragmented societies where the economic and social cloth is being destroyed by poverty .~ ATAGEND as the source for terrorist recruitment.

All of these women were lonely innovators with limited political power in their surrounding. Yet, each still obeyed the inner call to make the world a better place. Their indelible run can inspire other women of all backgrounds to leadership and change.

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