It’s the beginning of March and that means National Women’s History Month is well underway! While we are sad to see Black History Month come to an end, we’re happy to follow up the month with a month-long celebration of women- plus black history month is all year long. To kick start National Women’s History Month, We are giving you 10 of the topmost successful African American women trailblazing through history.
1. Michelle ObamaSource:Forum Photos
What would this list be without our forever-first lady? Michelle Obama won America over after her husband and former POTUS, Barak Obama swarm office in 2009. Since then, Michelle has not taken a back seat to her husband. The former FLOTUS made great strides by kickstarting many initiatives geared towards our youth such as “Let’s Move”- an organization created to tackle obesity amongst children in America.
2. Issa RaeSource:FilmMagic for HBO
Her show may be titled, “Insecure,” but this fearless woman is far from that. Issa Rae broke many barriers in Hollywood for women of color as the first black woman to create and star in a premium cable series. Not to mention, she was able to accomplish all of this while unapologetically living in her truth of being the ‘awkward black girl.’
3. RihannaSource:MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images)
Badgirlriri is not a force to be reckoned with in the entertainment history. The singing Mogul was named the world’s richest female musician by Forbes in 2019 with a whopping net worth of $600 million. Much of this is due to her successful beauty brand, Fenty, which continues to sell out in Sephora stores everywhere. Did we mention that she was also the first Black woman to Head a Luxury Brand for LVMH?
4. Marsai MartinSource:Darius L. Carter
Marsai Martin has to be one of the youngest trailblazers on this list. The actress became the youngest executive producer in Hollywood at the age of 13. Since then, Martin has gone on to become a nine-time NAACP Image Awards winner.
5. BeyonceSource:Elle Magazine
Who runs the world? Beyonce! Queen Bey has a long list of accolades dubbing her as a major part of Female empowerment. The singer recently made history by becoming the first African American woman to headline Coachella- renaming the music festival, ‘Beychella’.
6. Ava DuVernaySource:Getty
You cannot call yourself a movie critic if you are not familiar with any of Ava DuVernay’s work. The American filmmaker made a name for herself early on in her career with hit shows like ‘Greys Anatomy’ and ‘Scandal.’ DuVernay made history by becoming the first African American woman to win an award at the Sundance Film Festival and the first to ever direct a DC Comics book film.
7. Lena WaitheSource:HBO
Speaking of powerhouse female filmmakers, Lena Waithe is another producer making great strides for women in Hollywood. She became the first Black-American woman to win an Emmy for outstanding writing in the hit comedy, ” Master of None.”
8. Tarana BurkeSource:Getty
Tarana Burke put hashtags to good use by creating the #MeToo movement. The civil rights activist began using the phrase on social media to raise awareness of the pervasiveness of sexual abuse and assault in society. The founder continues working to shine a light on victims of sexual injustices.
9. Serena WilliamsSource:NIke
Serena Williams is a trailblazer on and off of the tennis court. She became the first African-American woman to win the U.S. Open championship since Althea Gibson in 1958 and the only African American other than Ashe to win a Grand Slam singles title in the past 25 years.
10. Meghan MarkleSource:Getty
Meghan Markle is the living example of black girl magic. The Duchess of Sussex made history by becoming the first British royal of color. Earlier this year, Markle and Prince Harry stepped back from the royal privileges to acquire their independence. If that isn’t female empowerment, then we don’t know what is!