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5 Of My Top Inspirational Black Women Of The Past

Today is woman crush Wednesday and I have to tell you guys a secret…I’m crushing just a little bit. Who’s my crush you may ask? The question isn’t who it is but who they are and they’re some of the black women who have made strides in the past that have us in awe today!

In honor of women’s history month, I wanted to share five of my top inspirational black women that kicked serious ass during their lifetime and left people talking about them for generations upon generations.

Madam C.J. Walker

First up is the one and only, big boss Madam C.J. Walker! She is the definition of inspirational and the first that comes into my mind when I think of an inspirational black woman of the past. I mean, just look at how she’s addressed…Madam. If that doesn’t scream “BOSS” to you, then I don’t know what does. If you need a refresher on why she’s one of the baddest to ever do it, Madam Walker was the first African American woman millionaire. Not only that, but she was also the first self-made female millionaire. Us black women entrepreneurs can not only thank her for making a stepping stone for us and showing aspiring black women entrepreneurs that it’s possible, but also getting us together with her hair products!

Katherine Johnson

If you’ve seen the movie Hidden Figures, or you just know your history, then you already know why Miss Johnson is one of my top inspirational black women of the past, and why she should become yours too! If it were not for her, the first U.S. spaceflight might not have gone through. She not only ran the calculations for the flight, but she did them BY HAND! If you ever wonder or try to put a limit on what women can do, please know that the limit does NOT exist!

As of February 24th, it has officially been a year of her passing, and I’m so glad that she was alive to see herself as well as Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughn get the recognition they deserve.

Rosetta Tharpe

Rosetta Tharpe is the definition of a woman creating something that a man was given credit for. Her talent and passion for music are what helped create the one and only genre that is rock and roll. It’s no wonder she’s called “The Godmother of Rock and Roll”. She inspired Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and now she has inspired me.

Shirley Chisholm

Shirley Chisholm, a black woman who shook up the congress walls by becoming the first African American congresswoman. I’m not a person who’s huge into politics or anything of that nature, but you don’t need to be to know that this is the most amazing and inspirational achievement! The inspiration doesn’t stop there, because she was also the first woman AND African American to see the nomination for the president of the United States! THIS is why she had to make the list for me. We need more black women filling these roles, and I believe one day we will most certainly have a black woman as president. Hey, we have a black woman as vice president, so we’re already almost there!

Mary Jane Patterson

Last but not least, let’s get into Miss Mary Jane Patterson. She was the first black woman in the United States to earn a bachelor’s degree…can you say monumental!? This is so inspirational for so many reasons, especially having earned a bachelor’s degree myself. As the women discussed before her, she has paved the way for other black women to do the exact same. If there’s a black woman who is reading this that wants to go to college but feels like it’s too hard and they can’t do it, imagine how Mary felt. I’m sure there were probably many times where she wanted to give up, but she didn’t, and that’s why she has the title and achievement that she has.

These women are inspirational to me in different ways, and I hope that you become inspired as well just by reading a little bit about them.

Do you have your own list of black women of the past who inspire you?


  1. Thanks for the list! I admit that I haven’t heard of any of them. I think my favorite black woman from the past is Sojourner Truth. She wasn’t afraid to express her opinion and she didn’t care what other people thought of her. I remember (I did a report on her for school) and one thing I remember is that she had taken off her shirt to prove to naysayers that she wasn’t a man. 🙂

    • Well I’m glad that I was able to shed a light on some inspirational black women! That’s so badass of her. Miss Truth certainly has the right last name for sure! Thanks for reading and commenting ♥

  2. Great picks! I like that you bring attention to some really inspirational Black women. I am impressed by their accomplishments and I’ve got to say, Hidden Figures did such a great job highlighting the important contributions women like Katherine Johnson made. Thanks for a fun and inspirational read!

    • I’m in love with the movie and have probably seen it a thousand times at this point lol. They really did so well with it and with showcasing their accomplishments as you said. Thank you so much for reading and I’m glad you enjoyed it ♥

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