Black history lessons in classrooms shouldn’t be limited to the names of men and only a few women. Especially when there are countless women who’ve made enormous strides for the black community, too.
The revolutionary words Angela Davis spoke, the record-breaking feats of Wilma Rudolph and the glass ceiling-shattering efforts of Shirley Chisolm paved the way for black women and girls across the country to dream big and act courageously.
Here are 28 phenomenal women everyone should acquaint themselves with this black history month.
The failure of history to recognize the dedication of black women to the cause of equal rights for women might seem inexplicable, but it is the result of certain easily recognizable factors. The first and most potent is the tendency to oversimplify. Spotting that tendency is easy. It shows itself in statements like “The pilgrims came to this country for religious freedom,” “Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves,” and “The New Deal ended the Great Depression.” Complexity is difficult for history to acknowledge, and the position of black women with regard to black men, white men, and white women has always been complex. In the nineteenth century, they wanted two things–freedom for women and freedom for African Americans. When asked to choose between these two things, most of them refused, and history therefore has failed to recognize their dedication to both causes.
A Shining Thread of Hope: The History of Black Women in America by Darlene Clark Hine & Kathleen Thompson