Influential Black Women in History

Influential Black Women in History

Caitlin Alexander, Multi-Media Editor

With February being Black History Month, it is important that we uplift black stories and voices more than we already do at Crofton High School. It is without a doubt that Black women have paved the way for so many powerful things to come to fruition. Whether it’s bringing attention to voter discrimination or discovering methods for medical issues, Black women are the reason for so many luxuries in our life. Bearing that in mind, we here are only some of the many Black women that have prevailed in a number of ways. 

Shirley Chisholm 

The outgoing and brave figure known as Shirley Chisholm was the first African American woman in Congress(1968). While serving seven terms in Congress, Chisholm became the face of liberal politics. In Congress, she made it her mission to put a challenge to the system. It wasn’t every day you saw a Black person, and a woman at that at such a high point in the government during that time. 

Ida B Wells

Ida B Wells was known as a journalist and fearless leader in the civil rights movement during the mid-1800s through the mid-1900s. She used her literature expertise to shed light on the discriminatory treatment of African Americans in the South. Being born into slavery allows her to speak from her perspective. During her journey, Wells led the Anti- Lynching Crusade in the 1890s. The Anti-Lynching Crusade were a group of African American women that were dedicated to stopping the lynching of African American men and women. 

Nina Simone

You might know this singer, songwriter, and civil rights activist from her most famous cover of the song ¨Feeling Good.¨ Nina Simone’s activism started at a very young age when she was coming up to perform in front of a crowd, which her parents were in. Yet, Nina’s parents were urged to find another seat to give room for a white couple. Despite her need to perform, she refused to until her parents were given their seats back. As she grew older, she began to write songs and perform in nightclubs. Simone’s music shed light on social justice for Black people. 

Alice Ball

Alice Ball was an African American chemist during the early 1900s. During her studies at the University of Hawaii, she discovered the Ball Method. The Ball Method was a treatment that was effective for treating leprosy.  At the University of Hawaii, she studied an oil known as Chaulmoogra oil. She found that this oil was used to treat leprosy in some ways. Yet, Ball found a way to inject it by discovering the ester ethyl. This allowed the oil to dissolve in the bloodstream. 

Madam CJ Walker 

Madam CJ Walker, widely known as the First Black Woman Billionaire in America. Walker is also known to be a philanthropist and activist. Her wealth grew from her hair product line specialized for natural hair. The inspiration for creating such a prosperous business came from the previous scalp ailment that Walker suffered from. The outcome of her wealth allowed her to fund a number of scholarships to women at the Tuskegee Institute. Not only did Walker rise to fame with the use of her own knowledge, but she also used her returning wealth to help others due the same.


As expressed, many things that we know and love would not be here if it weren’t for the amazing creations done by Black women.