It’s the Black Girl Magic for Me: Celebrating Black Women Forging Our Future

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It’s the Black Girl Magic for Me: Celebrating Black Women Forging Our Future

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This February, in honor of Black Herstory Month, we are highlighting impactful Black women who are leading the way to a just future and those who have paved that way. These women represent a wide range of industries, and they all have worked tirelessly to both eliminate racism and empower women.

Follow us on social media and engage with us as we celebrate Black girl magic in film, sports, activism, music and uplift the stories of those paving the way in STEM, health care, leadership, among other fields. #BlackSheroSquad

Black Herstory Month

Click on the following topics to see the corresponding list of Black Sheroes.

Black History Month Playlist

Tune in as we set the vibe and celebrate Black Herstory Month! Don’t forget to share on your social media #YWCAPlaylist


 Impactful Reads & Authors

  • And Still I Rise by Maya Angelou
  • Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
  • Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
  • Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
  • Do Better: Spiritual Activism for Fighting and Healing from White Supremacy by Rachel Ricketts
  • Emergent Strategy by Adrienne Marie Brown
  • Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
  • Kindred by Octavia Butler
  • Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
  • Redefining Realness by Janet Mock
  • Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  • The Hill We Climb by Amanda Gorman
  • The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
  • All About Love: New Visions by Bell Hooks
  • Head Off and Split by Nikky Finney
  • Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry by Camille T. Dungy

Inspiring Films and Television

  • Black Panther starring Angela Bassett, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, and Letitia Wright
  • Harriet directed by Kasi Lemmons, produced by Debra Martin Chase, and starring Cynthia Erivo
  • Hidden Figures starring Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monai, and Octavia Spencer
  • If Beale Street Could Talk starring KiKi Layne and Regina King
  • Living Single created by Yvette Lee Bowser, starring Queen Latifah, Kim Coles, Erika Alexander, and Kim Fields
  • Lovecraft Country created by Misha Green, starring Jurnee Smollett, Aunjanue Ellis, Wunmi Mosaku, and Jada Harris
  • Paris is Burning featuring Venus Xtravaganza, Dorian Corey, and Pepper LaBeija
  • Pose written by Janet Mock, starring Mj Rodriguez, Dominique Jackson, Angelica Ross, and Hailie Sahar
  • The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman starring Cicely Tyson
  • The Color Purple based on a novel by Alice Walker, starring Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey, and Margaret Avery
  • Selma directed by Ava DuVernay, produced by Oprah Winfrey, and starring Carmen Ejogo
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks starring Renée Elise Goldsberry and produced by Oprah Winfrey
  • The Wiz starring Diana Ross, Mabel King, and Lena Horne
  • Underground created by Misha Green, starring Jurnee Smollett and Amirah Vann
  • What’s Love Got to Do With It based on a book by Tina Turner, starring Angela Bassett

Black Women in Sports

  • Laila Ali, American Boxer
  • Simone Biles, American gymnast
  • Nia Dennis, American gymnast
  • Gabby Douglas, American Gymnast
  • Allyson Felix, American track and field athlete
  • Coco Gauff, American tennis player
  • Florence Griffith Joyner ‘Flo-Jo’, American track and field athlete
  • Jennifer King, Assistant coach, Washington Football Team
  • Simone Manuel, American swimmer
  • Naomi Osaka, International Tennis player
  • Claressa Shields, American boxer
  • Mariah Stackhouse, American golfer
  • Sheryl Swoopes, American basketball player
  • Debi Thomas, American figure skater
  • Serena Williams, American tennis player
  • Maya Moore, American basketball player
  • Bonnie St. John, American skier
  • Simone Manuel, American swimmer
  • Sophia Danenberg, American mountain climber

Black Women in Activism

  • Tarana Burke, Founder of the #MeToo Movement, activist
  • Claudette Colvin, Pioneer of the 1950’s civil rights movement
  • Alicia Garza, Civil rights activist, writer, and co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement
  • Marsha P. Johnson, Gay liberation and trans rights activist
  • Mariame Kaba, Organizer, educator, and curator focusing on transformative justice, prison industrial complex, and ending violence
  • Tamika D. Mallory, Activist and organizer for women’s rights, gun control, and Black Lives Matter movement
  • Brittany Packnett Cunningham, Social justice activist, organizer, educator, and writer
  • Gloria Richardson, Civil rights activist
  • Opal Tometi, Award-winner human rights activist, co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, and founder of Diaspora Rising
  • Sojourner Truth, Activist for civil and women’s rights
  • Ida B. Wells, Anti-lynching activist, journalist, and researcher
  • Raquel Willis, Award-winning writer, activist, and director of communications for Ms. Foundation
  • Pauli Murray, First African-American woman to become an Episcopal priest, Civil rights lawyer, and activist, educator
  • Maria Stewart, Abolitionist, feminist, author, educator, orator
  • Fania Davis, Founder and director of Restorative Justice of Oakland Youth, author, educator, civil rights activist, and lawyer

Black Women in Hollywood

  • Uzo Aduba
  • Karan Ashley
  • Angela Bassett
  • Danielle Brooks
  • Laverne Cox
  • Viola Davis
  • Tracee Ellis Ross
  • Danai Gurira
  • Taraji P. Henson
  • Regina King
  • Monique
  • Lupita Nyong’o
  • Issa Rae
  • Jurnee Smollett
  • Octavia Spencer
  • Tessa Thompson
  • Lorraine Toussaint
  • Cicely Tyson
  • Kerry Washington
  • Samira Wiley
  • Alfre Woodard
  • Gabrielle Union
  • Michaela Coel

Black Women in Leadership

  • Sadie Alexander, First Black woman economist in the U.S.
  • Aimee Allison, Founder and President of She the People
  • Rosalind Brewer, CEO of Walgreens
  • Kimberlé Crenshaw, Co-founder and Executive Director of African American Policy Forum
  • Bea Dixon, CEO and Founder of The Honey Pot
  • Jo Ann Jenkins, CEO of AARP
  • Cynthia Marshall, CEO of Dallas Mavericks
  • Yvette Simpson, American politician, lawyer, and CEO of Democracy for America
  •  Rue Mapp, Founder and CEO of Outdoor Afro

Black Women in Government

  • Stacey Abrams, American politician, lawyer, voting rights activist, and author
  • Karen Bass, S. Representative
  • Carol Moseley Braun, First Black woman Senator (1993-1999)
  • Cori Bush, U.S. Representative
  • Margaret Chase Smith, Former U.S. Senator
  • Shirley Chisholm, American politician, educator, and author
  • Liz Copeland, Candidate for Baltimore City Council
  • Jenean Hampton, Former Lieutenant Governor
  • Kamala Harris, 49th Vice President of the United States of America
  • Jahana Hayes, U.S. Representative
  • Adrienne A. Jones, Speaker of Maryland House of Delegates
  • Barbara Lee, U.S. Representative
  • Mia Love, Former U.S. Representative
  • Ayanna Presley, U.S. Representative
  • Condoleezza Rice, Former Secretary of State, American diplomat, and political scientist
  • Maxine Waters, U.S. Representative

Black Women in STEM

  • Aisha Bowe, Aerospace engineer, founder, and CEO of STEMBoard
  • Kimberly Bryant, Founder of Black Girls Code and former engineer
  • Aprille Ericsson-Jackson, Mechanical and aerospace engineer, the first African-American woman to receive a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Howard University, and the first African-American woman to receive a Ph.D. in Engineering at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
  • Kathryn Finney, Founder and CEO of Digital Undivided
  • Ayanna Howard, Roboticist, entrepreneur, educator, and the Chair of the School of Interactive Computing in the Georgia Tech College of Computing
  • Mae C. Jemison, Engineer and first African American female astronaut to go in space in 1992
  • Ashanti Johnson, Geochemist, chemical oceanographer, and one the first female African-American chemical oceanographers
  • Katherine Johnson, completed the NASA calculations necessary for several space missions including the 1969 moon landing and served as a human computer for Langley Research Center
  • Jeanette Epps, Aerospace engineer, NASA astronaut, first black woman to join International Space Station crew
  • Deena Pierott, Diversity & equity strategistFounder and Executive Director of iUrban Teen Program, and a founding member of Black Women in STEM 2.0

Black Women in Health Care

  • Patricia Bath, Ophthalmologist, inventor, humanitarian, academic, early pioneer of laser cataract surgery, the first African-American to complete ophthalmology residency, and co-founder of the American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness
  • Regina Benjamin, Physician, former Surgeon General of the US, and former vice admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps
  • Donna Christian-Christensen, Physician, politician, former US Representative, and the first female physician to win a congressional election
  • Kizzmekia Corbett, Viral immunologist, research fellow at National Institute of Health, and the lead frontline scientist who helped develop the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine
  • Rebecca Crumpler, Author, physician, and the first black woman awarded a medical degree from a U.S. college
  • Joycelyn Elders, Pediatrician, public health administrator, and the first black woman to serve as Surgeon General of the US
  • Roselyn Epps, Pediatrician, public health physician, and the first African American president of the American Medical Women’s Association
  • Marilyn Gaston, Physician, researcher, and the first black woman to direct the Bureau of Primary Health Care in the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration
  • Camara Jones, Physician, epidemiologist, and an anti-racism activist specializing in the effects of racism and social inequalities on health
  • Deborah Prothrow-Stith, Professor and Dean in the Charles R. Drew College of Medicine, first woman Commissioner of Public Health for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and advocated for youth violence to be defined as a public health crisis
  • Jane Cooke Wright, Pioneering cancer researcher and surgeon who helped develop chemotherapy

Black Women in Media

  • Cari Champion, Journalist and sports broadcaster
  • Ava Duvernay, Director, producer, and screenwriter
  • Errin Haines, Journalist and editor-at-large of The 19th
  • Nikole Hannah-Jones, Journalist and award winning racial justice reporter
  • Jemele Hill, Journalist and sports broadcaster
  • Cathy Hughes, President & CEO of Radio One and TV One
  • Gwen Ifill, The first African-american woman to host a nationally televised programJournalist, newscaster, and author
  • Gayle King, Journalist and news anchor
  • Marsai Martin, Actress and the youngest executive producer in history
  • Janet Mock, Director, producer, television host, writer, and activist
  • KeKe Palmer, Television host, personality, singer, and actress
  • Abby Phillip, Political correspondent and American journalist
  • Shonda Rhimes, Television producer, screenwriter, and author
  • Robin Roberts, Television broadcaster, anchor on Good Morning America, and former sportscaster
  • Amanda Seales, Comedian, actress, writer, producer; founder of Smart Funny & Black Entertainment
  • Lena Waithe, Producer, screenwriter, and actress
  • Oprah Winfrey, Chairman & CEO of OWN, American talk show host, television producer, actress, author, and philanthropist