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To celebrate Black History Month (BHM), I decided to give the spotlight to some of history’s greatest and often overlooked black people. Some you may have heard of and some you may not. However, this and other articles dedicated to BHM will acknowledge some, but not all, movers and shakers.

Since we always focus on the accomplishments and firsts of African American men most often as opposed to African American woman, this time around, the latter will be showcased first. Again, not all black women will be featured (only ten will be highlighted) as it’s a pretty long and evergrowing list. So, it’s best to do some research on as many historic and famous black women as possible to learn more about black women’s history. In the meantime, click on the links to learn more about these individuals. And remember, the list of black greatness never ends.

Fannie Lou Hamer – Instrumental for campaigning for black voting rights, especially in her homestate of Mississippi.

Madam C. J. Walker – A self-made business woman widely regarded as being America’s first female millionaire. She is recognized mainly for creating hair care products for black women.

Mary McLoad Bethune – Founder of the Daytona Educational and Industrial Institute for Girls in 1904 and established the Bethune-Cookman University along with the Cookman Institute.

Ava DuVernay – First black female director to receive a Golden Globe nomination and have a film nominated for the Best Picture Oscar.

Edmonia Lewis –  A neoclassical African American and Native American sculptor, friend of abolitionists, and sculptor.

Jackie Joyner-Kersee – Dominant in women’s track and field. Considered by many people to be the best all-around female athlete in the world.

Leontyne Price – New York Metropolitan Opera soprano 1960 – 1985. One of the most popular opera sopranos of recent history, known as the first black American-born prima donna, She was the first black opera singer on television.

Angela Benton – CEO of NewMe Accelerator, tech entrepreneur dedicated to encouraging minority-owned startups in Silicon Valley.

Christina Lewis Halpern – The self-described opinionated woman, wife, mother and social entrepreneur launched All Star Code in an effort to prepare talented minority boys for careers in science and technology.

Rebecca Lee Crumper – The first African American doctor and the first African American doctor to publish a medical book Book of Medical Discourses.

Again, this is only a snippet of the many, many accomplishments done by black women. Check out more info and more black female history makers online or at your local library.

Next: Black History Month: Black, Gay and Proud.

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