This Black History Month, New York Minute wants to celebrate all of the badass Black women who have changed the world throughout history. These Black women are leaders in so many different facets of society including activism, sports, politics, entertainment and STEM and deserve to be honored not just this month but always. We had some trouble narrowing down the list– there are just so many that we look to for inspiration at NYMM. Here are some of the most trailblazing Black women to recognize this month.
To say Tarana Burke has made her impact on society would be an understatement. Burke is credited for starting the Me Too movement, a revolution that empowered so many women to speak their truth. Burke began the movement in 2006 to inspire other women to share their stories. In 2017, the #MeToo movement began trending and picked up international attention. She even won Time’s Person of the year in 2017 for her activism and impact.
Allyson Felix created waves throughout the sports world in 2016 when she became the most decorated athlete in World Athletics Championships history, impressively flaunting 18 career medals and 13 gold medals. She is also the only female track and field athlete to win 6 Olympic gold medals and has competed in sprint events as well as relay events.
We’d be remiss to exclude Vice President Kamala Harris from this list of influential Black women. Not only did she make history after the November election by becoming the first Black and Asian American VP, but she was also the first woman and person of color to be attorney general of California as well as district attorney of San Francisco. Her rise in power shows how far Black women have come in the political sphere, but America still has so far to go in terms of gender and racial equality in politics.
Shonda Rhimes’ has a more than impressive resume, as she has produced a number of beloved TV shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, Bridgerton and How to Get Away With Murder. Rhimes established herself as a force to be reckoned with in the entertainment industry when she became the first Black woman to produce a top 10 network series with Grey’s. Rhimes has also used her platform to support Planned Parenthood, advocate for women’s self-confidence through her partnership with Dove’s Real Beauty campaign and amplify black voices.
Katherine Johnson, one of the trailblazing women who inspired the movie Hidden Figures, is credited for being one of the mathematicians responsible for sending Americans to outer space for the first time in 1961. Her calculations were imperative in sending an American astronaut into orbit around Earth and then later, the moon.