Throughout history, women are often not as recognized for their contributions to the world as their male counterparts. This Black History Month, we are acknowledging the divine feminine power of world-shaping black women. Every week of February we will be featuring women who have revolutionized the world by breaking the glass ceiling through their ideas, inventions, strength and fight for equality. Let these powerful women, who have shaped the world we live in today, inspire and motivate you to continue to fight for a more equal and inclusive world. Happy Black History Month!
Abolitionist, Civil Rights Activist, Humanitarian
Harriet Tubman, born Araminta Harriet Ross, was born into slavery in Maryland in 1820. Tubmans mother, Harriet Green, set a bold example for her when she was an adolescent by resisting the continued separation of her family by slave trade. Tubmans childhood consisted of excessive physical violence, some of which scarred her for life with seizures and painful headaches. Although her father became free from slavery at the age of 45, the rest of the Tubman family was not. It wasn’t until 1849 did Tubman free herself from slavery with her two brothers; who out of fear returned back to the plantation, leaving Tubman on the journey to freedom alone. Upon reaching Pennsylvania Tubman decided not to remain in the safety of the north but to help her niece and her entire family make the escape to Philadelphia. Continuing to liberate slaves, Tubman remained active throughout the civil war as a nurse, scout, and spy. Named one of the most famous civilians in American History before the Civil War, Tubman freed over 700 slaves from the south and later died of pneumonia in 1913. In April 2016, it was announced that Harriet Tubman will be the new face of the twenty-dollar bill, replacing Andrew Jackson.
"I freed a thousand slaves I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves." -Harriet Tubman (1820-1913)
Fannie Lou Hamer
Civil Rights Leader, Voting Rights Activist, Philanthropist
Born Fannie Lou Townsend on October 6, 1917, Fannie Lou Hamer was a staple in the civil rights movement by practicing civil disobedience. Hamer helped establish the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, National Women's Political Caucus and several other organizations. On August 31, 1962 Hamer traveled with 17 other blacks to register to vote, which was faced with resistance from local and state law enforcement. Throughout her activist career, Hamer faced violent opposition and was severely beaten, arrested and shot at. However, this did not stop her strides to encourage the african american vote and bring attention to the civil rights struggle in Mississippi. Upon helping establish the National Women's Political Caucus in 1971, which is dedicated to increasing women’s participation in the political process and equality for all women, Hamer was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1976. Continuing to fight for justice through that tough time, she passed on March 17th 1977.
"I am sick and tired of being sick and tired." -Fannie Lou Hamer (1917-1977)