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Posted By Global Black Pages on 01/29/2021 in Black History

30 Queens Of Black History Who Deserve Recognition

30 Queens Of Black History Who Deserve Recognition

Celebrating the Black History Month

You’ve probably heard the names Maya Angelou, Rosa Parks, and Harriet Tubman—all women greatly deserving of the recognition they receive. However, this Black History Month, we were excited to see this piece from The Huffington Post celebrating some names you might not have heard.

There are countless ways, big and small, that women continue to fight both sexism and racism every day. Millions of women deserve recognition, but you’re sure to find a few on this list that you should get to know better. 

Here are 30 phenomenal women everyone should acquaint themselves with this black history month.

1. Shirley Chisholm (1924 - 2005)

Shirley Chisholm

Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm (November 30, 1924 – January 1, 2005) was the first African American woman in Congress (1968) and the first woman and African American to seek the nomination for president of the United States from one of the two major political parties (1972). Her motto and title of her autobiography—Unbossed and Unbought—illustrates her outspoken advocacy for women and minorities during her seven terms in the U.S. House of Representatives.

2. Claudette Colvin (1939 - present)

Claudette Colvin

Claudette Colvin (September 5, 1939 - present) was a pioneer of the African American Civil Rights Movement. On March 2, 1955, she was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a bus(at the age of 15) in segregated Montgomery, Alabama, nine months prior to Rosa Parks.

3. Septima Poinsette Clark (1898 – 1987)

Septima PoinsetteBob Fitch photography archive, © Stanford University Libraries


A pioneer in grassroots citizenship education, Septima Clark (May 3, 1898 – December 15, 1987) was called the “Mother of the Movement” and the epitome of a “community teacher, an intuitive fighter for human rights and leader of her unlettered and disillusioned people” (McFadden, “Septima Clark,” 85; King, July 1962).

4. Mary Church Terrell (1863 – 1954)

Mary Church TerrellStock Montage / Getty Images

Mary Eliza Church Terrell, née Mary Eliza Church, (September 23, 1863 - July 24, 1954), American social activist who was cofounder and first president of the National Association of Colored Women. She was an early civil rights advocate, an educator, an author, and a lecturer on woman suffrage and rights for African Americans.

5. Angela Davis (1944 - present)

Angela DavisDuke Downey / The Chronicle 1969

Educator and activist Angela Davis (January 26, 1944 - present) became known for her involvement in a politically charged murder case in the early 1970s. Influenced by her segregated upbringing in Birmingham, Alabama, Davis joined the Black Panthers and an all-Black branch of the Communist Party as a young woman. She became a professor at UCLA but fell out of favor with the administration due to her ties. Davis was charged with aiding the botched escape attempt of imprisoned Black radical George Jackson and served roughly 18 months in jail before her acquittal in 1972. After spending time traveling and lecturing, Davis returned to the classroom as a professor and authored several books.

6. Ida B. Wells-Barnett (1862 - 1931)

Ida B. Wells-Barnett (1862-1931)Chicago Tribune historical photo

Ida B. Wells-Barnett (July 16, 1862 - March 25, 1931) was a prominent journalist, activist, and researcher, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In her lifetime, she battled sexism, racism, and violence. As a skilled writer, Wells-Barnett also used her skills as a journalist to shed light on the conditions of African Americans throughout the South.

7. Kathleen Cleaver (1945 - present)

Kathleen Cleaver (1945-present)


Kathleen Cleaver (May 13, 1945 - present) is one of the central figures in Black Panther history. She was the first communications secretary for the organization and is currently a law professor at Emory University. She also helped found the Human Rights Research Fund.

8. Dr. Dorothy Height (1912 - 2010)

Dr. Dorothy Height (1912-2010)Getty Images

Dr. Height (March 24, 1912 - April 20, 2010) was regarded by President Barack Obama as "the godmother of the Civil Rights Movement.” She served as the president of the National Council of Negro Women for over two decades and was instrumental in the integration of all YWCA centers in 1946.

9. Phillis Wheatley (1753 - 1784)

Illustration by Scipio Moorhead

Wheatley (May 8, 1753 - December 5, 1784) was a former slave who was kidnapped from West Africa and brought to America. She was bought by a Boston family and became their personal servant. With the aid of the family, she learned to read and eventually became one of the first women to publish a book of poetry in 1773.

10. Audre Lorde (1934-1992)

Audre LordeRobert Alexander via Getty Images

This Caribbean-American writer (February 18, 1934 - November 17, 1992) and activist was a self-described “black, lesbian, mother, warrior and poet." She empowered her readers with her moving poetry often tackling the injustices of racism, sexism, and homophobia. She's known for her poetry and memoirs such as From a Land Where Other People Live, The Black Unicorn, and A Burst of Light.

11. Flo Kennedy (1916 - 2000)

Flo KennedyBettye Lane

Kennedy (February 11, 1916 - December 21, 2000) was a founding member of the National Organization of Women and one of the first black female lawyers to graduate from Columbia Law School. She helped found the Feminist Party in 1971, which later nominated Representative Shirley Chisholm for president.

12. Fannie Lou Hamer (1917 - 1977)

Fannie Lou Hamer

Fannie Lou Townsend Hamer (October 6, 1917 - March 14, 1977) rose from humble beginnings in the Mississippi Delta to become one of the most important, passionate, and powerful voices of the civil and voting rights movements and a leader in the efforts for greater economic opportunities for African Americans.

13. Josephine Baker (1906 - 1975)

Josephine Baker

Josephine Baker, original name Freda Josephine McDonald, (June 3, 1906 - April 12, 1975), American-born French dancer and singer who symbolized the beauty and vitality of Black American culture, which took Paris by storm in the 1920s. During World War II, she worked for the French Resistance, smuggling messages hidden in her sheet music and underwear. Baker frequently returned to the United States to join the Civil Rights Movement efforts. She was even a speaker at the 1963 March on Washington.

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