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5 Historical Black Women Who Served Us Black Girl Magic 

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In honor of Black History Month, we would like to shed light on black women in history that have served us some serious black girl magic.

Many of the names on this list are rarely spoken, but it is important that we remember to pay homage to our ancestors who have paved the way for us. These women were resilient, passionate, and down right steadfast when it came to breaking down barriers and showing us that because they did- we too can do amazing things.

Check out 5 of BB Media’s female black hidden figures below:

1. Septima Poinsette Clark

Septima Poinsette Clark was an African American educator and civil rights activist. She developed literacy and citizenship workshops that played a major role in the drive for the voting rights act and the civil rights act during the Civil Rights Movement.

Her contributions to the Civil Rights Movement earned her the nicknames “Queen Mother or Grandmother” of the movement. Mother Clarke believed that knowledge empowered the oppressed in ways formal legal equality couldn’t.

In 1979, President Jimmy Carter awarded her a Living Legacy Award.

We want to thank  Mother Septima Poinsette Clark for her multiple contributions and in the words of queen mother Clarke “I have a great belief in the fact that whenever there is chaos, it creates wonderful thinking. I consider chaos a gift.”
2. Ida B. Wells

Ida B. Wells was a pioneer in the media and communication industries during the early 20th century.

She is most remembered for her role in documenting the practice of lynching and proved herself to be bold and fearless during a time period where others were afraid to share their thoughts on certain topics. Wells didn’t hesitate to write about the gruesome images of lynching and mistreatment of Africans in American.

We’d like to thank Ida B. Wells for her groundbreaking acts that continue to inspire people around the world today.

 

3.Mary Kenner

Mary Kenner was and African American inventor.

Her most notable invention was the sanitary belt (maxi pads).

Her patent for the sanitary belt wasn’t received until 30 years after she invented it. The company that was interested in her invention immediately rejected it after they discovered she was an African American woman, but this did not discourage Ms. Kenner.

She went on to receive four more patents for which include the bathroom tissue holder, a back washer that mounted on the wall of the shower, and the carrier attachment on walkers for disabled people.

We want to say thank you to Mama Kenner. This pioneer did not allow anyone to prevent her from achieving her goals; Because of Kenner I understand that every “no” we hear should be motivation.

It’s also been stated that the driving force behind Kenner’s works wasn’t the financial gain, but the fact that she was bettering the lives of those around her.

4.Hattie McDaniel

Hattie McDaniel was an African American actress.

McDaniel was the first black woman to receive an Oscar and received the award for her role in Gone With The Wind in 1940.

She was also one of the first black women in radio. African Americans often criticize McDaniel for playing stereotypical roles that portrayed black people in a negative light. Mother McDaniel felt that it was better to play a maid on TV than to actually be a maid in real life. She has received 2 stars on the Hollywood walk of fame and has been inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall Of Fame.

In the words of Hattie McDaniel “a woman’s gift will make room for Her.”

Thank you Hattie McDaniel. Your relentless efforts has opened doors for some of today’s biggest names in entertainment and broadcasting including Wendy Williams, Taraji P. Henson, Viola Davis, and many more.
5. Josephine Baker

Josephine Baker was a prominent singer and entertainer in her day.

Baker was the first African American person to become a world famous entertainer. During the Civil Rights Movement she refused to play in front of segregated audiences, which ended up being noted as one of her largest contributions.

She was also known for aiding the French Resistance during World War II by serving within the Red Cross and carrying top secret messages written in invisible ink on her sheet music.  She was awarded honor of the Croix de Guerre in addition to the Medal of the Resistance in 1946. In 1961 she received the highest French honor, the Legion d’Honneur from French president Charles DeGaulle.

Later on Baker adopted children of various races resulting in her family often being referred to as the rainbow tribe. She hoped that her family would serve as proof that all races could live together harmoniously.

Thank you Mama Josephine for having a vision of equality and standing for what you believe in. You proved yourself to be a woman of many talents, and because you did, we know that we can amount to anything.

These women have taught us to write our own stories, stand in our beauty, and tell our own truths. They have showed us that we are more than the negative images that society continues to portray of black women – We embody greatness. Who are your favorite examples of black girl magic? Let us know in the comments!

 

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