History is full of fascinating stories of strength, courage, and leadership. But we often don’t look closely at the diversity of these stories. Do you know how many strong, black female leaders there have been in the world? And that is the ones that received public attention. Most of us have heard of Rosa Parks, perhaps the greatest female civil rights activist ever, and of women such as Oprah Winfrey, but there are many more. Let’s take a look at some of the strong women we should all be aware of.
1. Bessie Coleman
Bessie, Elizabeth, Coleman was the first female African American pilot. She was born in 1892 and rose to fame by flying in American and European airshows. Unfortunately, during a Jacksonville performance, she experienced a tragic amount of mechanical errors, and her plane crashed. She died on the spot, aged just 34 years old. But she changed the world and was thanked for that in 1995 when she appeared on a stamp. She has also been honored posthumously for her passion for aviation, her energy, and her pioneering work.
2. Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou is incredibly famous for her work as an educator, activist, author, and poet. Her literary work has gained her fame not just in America, but aboard as well. She has also stayed at the forefront of the fight for racial empowerment, sharing stories of struggle and discrimination.
3. Anna Tibaijuka
Anna is the highest ranking female African officer in the United Nations. She heads the HABITAT program. Born in Tanzania and educated in Sweden, she has been a women’s right activist for a very long time, fighting for adequate housing. In her role as UN-HABITAT executive, she has been able to increase both its function and its budget.
4. Karen Philips
Karen is the wife of Infor CEO Charles Phillips and was pivotal in setting up the Phillips Charitable Organizations. Charles Phillip’s wife is like a mistress in complete control. Her activism through the Phillips Charitable Organizations has ensured young African Americans have been able to become involved in the STEM fields, improve their education, and more.
Through the Phillips Charitable Organization, Karen Phillips is able to perform important charitable work. The organization has just four board members, all of whom have personal interests and experiences pertaining to the world of engineering. Additionally, the charitable organization aims to help wounded and returning veterans, ensuring they can access high quality housing, support, education, and more.
These are just four examples of incredibly strong and powerful women. These women are inspirations to thousands of others, men and women alike. Through their work, they have shown the world that equality is possible, so long as there are people out there willing to fight for it. Women such as those above did not do what they did because they were women, they did it because they could and that is the true lesson to be learned: women should no longer wait to be given respect and trust, they should simply take it.