The importance of Black women in American life, culture, democracy, and history is undeniable. Even as recent years have brought some recognition, Black women’s contributions remain underappreciated or unspoken.  We still have a long way to go. But these women inspire us to continue the journey toward freedom and equality for all. This month, in honor of Black History, we want to celebrate and uplift the voices and stories of Black women. Explore our Inspiration Series from the Journal and add the names of women you’d like to honor in the comments below.  

Recy Taylor

Claudette Colvin

Jo Ann Robinson

Rosa Parks

Toni Tipton-Martin

Georgia Gilmore

Ethel Payne

Wagatwe Wanjuki

Ida B. Wells

Diane Nash

Vivian Malone Jones

Amelia Boynton

Xenobia Bailey

Ava Duvernay

Emma Amos

Alma Thomas

Zora Neale Hurston

Alison Saar

Lead image: Left: “$ Bopped – flow Mandela cosmic tapestry of energy flow of charged currency (a minor event)”, 1999, by Xenobia Bailey featured in Paradise Under Reconstruction In The Aesthetic Of Funk-Phase II at Stux Gallery in 2001. 

Right: “Diane Nash in Chicago, Illinois” from the National Center for CIvil and Human Rights; “Wagatwe Wanjuki” from; “Claudette Colvin, aged 13, in 1953” (Public Domain); “Ava Duvernay” from; “Alison Saar” from L.A. Louver; “Mrs. Recy Taylor”, 1944, from The Rape of Recy Taylor; From The People’s World/Daily Worker and Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University; “Alma Thomas in her studio”, 1968, by Ida Jervis from Alma Thomas papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution; “Ida B. Wells Barnett”, 1893, by Mary Garrity (Public Domain); “Mugshot of Jo Ann Robinson in the wake of the Montgomery Bus Boycott”, February 21, 1956, from Montgomery County Archives via the National Museum of African American History & Culture; “Journalist Ethel Payne interviewing a soldier in Vietnam”, 1967, from Moorland-Spingarn Research Center; “The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks” by Toni Tipton-Martin; “Alva Rogers, Sandye Wilson, Candace Hamilton, Derin Young and Lisa Jones”, 1986, from Lorna Simpson via the Dazed article “These radical black artists stood against white feminism.”; “Rosa Parks being fingerprinted on February 22, 1956, by Lieutenant D.H. Lackey as one of the people indicted as leaders of the Montgomery bus boycott” from Associated Press; restored by Adam Cuerden; Georgia Gilmore adjusts her hat for photographers during the bus boycott trial of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in Montgomery, Alabama”, 1956, from Meet The Fearless Cook Who Secretly Fed — And Funded — The Civil Rights Movement; NPR; “Amelia Boynton”, by Francis Miller from The Life Picture Collection; “Xenobia Bailey” from the Museum of Arts and Design’s Open Studio Visit: Xenobia Bailey with Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts; “Zora Neale Hurston”, between 1935 and 1943 from U.S. Library of Congress.


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