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American-Made Leaders Celebrities, Then and Now Nevertheless, She Resisted International Women of Influence Champions
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One of the first African-American women to earn a college degree,
her parents were both former slaves, and she co-founded the
National Association of colored Women in 1896 as a way to get
African-American women involved in winning the right to vote.    

View Answer

One of the first African-American women to earn a college degree,
her parents were both former slaves, and she co-founded the
National Association of colored Women in 1896 as a way to get
African-American women involved in winning the right to vote.    


Mary Church Terrell
September 23, 1863 – July 24, 1954


An early activist and NAACP member who worked to free the
“Scottsboro Boys” in the 1930s, this woman earned more than
forty honorary doctorate degrees, hundreds of medals, and was the
first living person to be honored with a holiday.  

View Answer

An early activist and NAACP member who worked to free the
“Scottsboro Boys” in the 1930s, this woman earned more than
forty honorary doctorate degrees, hundreds of medals, and was the
first living person to be honored with a holiday.  


Rosa Parks
February 4, 1913 – October 24, 2005


She was the first Black child to desegregate and all-white elementary
school in New Orleans in 1960, suffering cruel threats and
mistreatment by protesters and community members who were
against desegregation.  She is also the recipient of the Presidential
Citizens Medal, an honorary degree from Tulane University.  

View Answer

She was the first Black child to desegregate and all-white elementary
school in New Orleans in 1960, suffering cruel threats and
mistreatment by protesters and community members who were
against desegregation.  She is also the recipient of the Presidential
Citizens Medal, an honorary degree from Tulane University.  


Ruby Bridges
September 8, 1954 – Present


This abolitionist and civil right advocate escaped slavery in New York
in 1827 and successfully sued for the return of her five-year old son,
assisted in helping slaves escape to freedom, and organized Black
troops and supplies for the Union Army.  

View Answer

This abolitionist and civil right advocate escaped slavery in New York
in 1827 and successfully sued for the return of her five-year old son,
assisted in helping slaves escape to freedom, and organized Black
troops and supplies for the Union Army.  


Sojourner Truth
c 1791 – November 26, 1883


Earning more than forty honorary doctorate degrees, and hundreds
of medals and awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom,
as an early activist and NAACP member, she refused to give up her
seat to a white man on an Alabama bus in 1955. She is considered
the mother of the Freedom Movement.

View Answer

Earning more than forty honorary doctorate degrees, and hundreds
of medals and awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom,
as an early activist and NAACP member, she refused to give up her
seat to a white man on an Alabama bus in 1955. She is considered
the mother of the Freedom Movement.


Rosa Parks
February 4, 1913 - October 24, 2005


This South African born singer, humanitarian, and Civic Rights activist
immigrated to the US in 1960 after gaining popularity as a singer and
actress for her role in the anti-apartheid film, Come Back, Africa. She
continued to protest injustice through her music after moving to Guinea
as a result of criticism from Whites for marrying Black Panther Stokely
Carmichael.   

View Answer

This South African born singer, humanitarian, and Civic Rights activist
immigrated to the US in 1960 after gaining popularity as a singer and
actress for her role in the anti-apartheid film, Come Back, Africa. She
continued to protest injustice through her music after moving to Guinea
as a result of criticism from Whites for marrying Black Panther Stokely
Carmichael.   


Miriam Makeba
March 4, 1932 – November 9, 2008


Starting her dance career locally and quickly becoming the highest paid
chorus girl in Vaudeville, she was the first Black person to become a
world-class dancer and star in a major motion picture. As a Civil Rights
movement contributor, she refused to perform for segregated crowds
and spoke at the March on Washington by the side of
Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
   

View Answer

Starting her dance career locally and quickly becoming the highest paid
chorus girl in Vaudeville, she was the first Black person to become a
world-class dancer and star in a major motion picture. As a Civil Rights
movement contributor, she refused to perform for segregated crowds
and spoke at the March on Washington by the side of
Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
   


Josephine Baker
June 3, 1906 – April 12, 1975


As a professional singer, actress, songwriter, and comedian, she
became the first African-American to win an Academy Award when
she won an Oscar for her portrayal of Mammy in
Gone with the Wind
(1939).
She has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was
the first Black Oscar winner to be placed on a US postage stamp.

View Answer

As a professional singer, actress, songwriter, and comedian, she
became the first African-American to win an Academy Award when
she won an Oscar for her portrayal of Mammy in
Gone with the Wind
(1939).
She has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was
the first Black Oscar winner to be placed on a US postage stamp.


Hattie McDaniel
June 10, 1895 – October 26, 1952


Considered one of the best and most influential jazz vocalists of all
time, her legacy still influences jazz and many other genres to this day.
She has received four posthumous Grammy awards, all for Best
Historical Album. She herself was inducted into the Grammy Hall of
Fame in 1973.  

View Answer

Considered one of the best and most influential jazz vocalists of all
time, her legacy still influences jazz and many other genres to this day.
She has received four posthumous Grammy awards, all for Best
Historical Album. She herself was inducted into the Grammy Hall of
Fame in 1973.  


Billie Holiday
April 7, 1915 – July 17, 1959


Recognized as one of the most iconic singers of all time with a career
that spans over four decades, this singer, songwriter, actress, and
twelve-time Grammy nominee was becaue the first African-american
woman to co-host the Academy Awards in 1974. Named “Female
Entertainer of the Century” by Billboard magazine and declared the
most successful female music artist in history by the Guiness Book of
World Records in 1993.

View Answer

Recognized as one of the most iconic singers of all time with a career
that spans over four decades, this singer, songwriter, actress, and
twelve-time Grammy nominee was becaue the first African-american
woman to co-host the Academy Awards in 1974. Named “Female
Entertainer of the Century” by Billboard magazine and declared the
most successful female music artist in history by the Guiness Book of
World Records in 1993.


Diana Ross
March 26, 1944 - Present


She immigrated from Ghana to the US in the early 1920s to join the
Black Nationalist movement, where she became spokesperson and
director of the Universal Negro Improvement Association. She attracted
audiences in the tens of thousands when speaking about the
opportunities available to Black people if they moved to Africa,
but was assassinated during a sermon on African-american
self-improvement.

View Answer

She immigrated from Ghana to the US in the early 1920s to join the
Black Nationalist movement, where she became spokesperson and
director of the Universal Negro Improvement Association. She attracted
audiences in the tens of thousands when speaking about the
opportunities available to Black people if they moved to Africa,
but was assassinated during a sermon on African-american
self-improvement.


Laura Adokor Kofi
1893 - March 8, 1928


This rebel resistance leader and freedom fighter was forced into slavery
in Cuba after being kidnapped from West Africa as a child. Musically
inclined, she used “talking drums” to communicate coded messages
with other slaves as a way to plan revolts. She led the 1843 raid that
freed dozens of slaves and used a machete to forcibly overthrow
Spanish landowners.

View Answer

This rebel resistance leader and freedom fighter was forced into slavery
in Cuba after being kidnapped from West Africa as a child. Musically
inclined, she used “talking drums” to communicate coded messages
with other slaves as a way to plan revolts. She led the 1843 raid that
freed dozens of slaves and used a machete to forcibly overthrow
Spanish landowners.


Carolota Lukumi
Unknown - 1844


Treated cruelly and forced to wear a slave mask (a collar and a muzzle)
made from heavy iron, she was the product of a slave-master
relationship and was born with piercing blue eyes that set her apart from
others. She is now seen as a protector Saint of the descendants of
slaves and the poor in Brazil.

View Answer

Treated cruelly and forced to wear a slave mask (a collar and a muzzle)
made from heavy iron, she was the product of a slave-master
relationship and was born with piercing blue eyes that set her apart from
others. She is now seen as a protector Saint of the descendants of
slaves and the poor in Brazil.


Saint Escrava Anastacia
c. 1800 - Unknown


Travelling thousands of mils and arrested twice, she joined a women’s
branch of the Mozambican Liberation Front (FRELIMO) and received
political and military training so that she could be a part of the liberation
struggle in Mozambique. She organized health and child care centers,
and schools while serving as an advocate for children orphaned by the
war.

View Answer

Travelling thousands of mils and arrested twice, she joined a women’s
branch of the Mozambican Liberation Front (FRELIMO) and received
political and military training so that she could be a part of the liberation
struggle in Mozambique. She organized health and child care centers,
and schools while serving as an advocate for children orphaned by the
war.


Josina Muthemba Machel
August 10, 1945 - April 7, 1971


A writer, translator, revolutionary, and Women’s Rights activist, she is
known as “Mother of the Revolution” for her role in the Angolan
Independence Movement. She corresponded with Martin Luther King Jr
in an effort to get ideas on how to help her country’s fight for
independence from the Portuguese, and was tortured and executed
after being captured for her political work in Angola

View Answer

A writer, translator, revolutionary, and Women’s Rights activist, she is
known as “Mother of the Revolution” for her role in the Angolan
Independence Movement. She corresponded with Martin Luther King Jr
in an effort to get ideas on how to help her country’s fight for
independence from the Portuguese, and was tortured and executed
after being captured for her political work in Angola


Deolinda Rodrigues de Almeida
February 10, 1939 - 1968


As the first female attorney of Dominica and only female Prime Minister,
she served as head of state longer than any other Prime Minister of
Dominica. She helped to found the Dominica Freedom Party in the 1
970s and her inflexible views led her to be nicknamed the “Iron Lady of
the Caribbean”.

View Answer

As the first female attorney of Dominica and only female Prime Minister,
she served as head of state longer than any other Prime Minister of
Dominica. She helped to found the Dominica Freedom Party in the 1
970s and her inflexible views led her to be nicknamed the “Iron Lady of
the Caribbean”.


Dame Eugenia Charles
May 15, 1919 - September 6, 2005


Her women’s peace movement used non-traditional tactics such as a
sex strike, and threats of curses and nudity in the streets to bring an
end to the Second Liberian Civil war in 2003. She was co-awarded the
2011 Nobel Peace Prize for her role in peace-building efforts and the
non-violent struggle for women’s rights.

View Answer

Her women’s peace movement used non-traditional tactics such as a
sex strike, and threats of curses and nudity in the streets to bring an
end to the Second Liberian Civil war in 2003. She was co-awarded the
2011 Nobel Peace Prize for her role in peace-building efforts and the
non-violent struggle for women’s rights.


Leymah Roberta Gbowee
February 1, 1972 - Present


The first African-American woman to be elected to the US Senate in
1992, she served as US Attorney in Chicago in 1973, served as US
ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa in 1999, and campaigned for
the Democratic presidential nomination in 2003 bur dropped out early in
the race to join the private sector.

View Answer

The first African-American woman to be elected to the US Senate in
1992, she served as US Attorney in Chicago in 1973, served as US
ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa in 1999, and campaigned for
the Democratic presidential nomination in 2003 bur dropped out early in
the race to join the private sector.


Carol Mosely Braun
August 16, 1947 - Present


Before becoming the 24th president of Liberia, she was the first woman
elected as the Chair of the Economic community of West African States,
a union that promotes economic integration across fifteen West African
countries. She brought running water and power to parts of her country
that had been without power for fifteen years, enforced a free public
school system, increased wages and pensions, and greatly reduced the
country’s debt.

View Answer

Before becoming the 24th president of Liberia, she was the first woman
elected as the Chair of the Economic community of West African States,
a union that promotes economic integration across fifteen West African
countries. She brought running water and power to parts of her country
that had been without power for fifteen years, enforced a free public
school system, increased wages and pensions, and greatly reduced the
country’s debt.


President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
October 29, 1938 - Present


This Haitian-born former journalist who was appointed Governor
General of Canada by Queen Elizabeth II had become the first Black
person on French television news in Canada during her work as a
news reporter and television host. She is the third and current (2017)
Secretary-General of the
Organisation Internationale de la
Francophonie
, which works to promote the cultures of regions where
French is the first language.

View Answer

This Haitian-born former journalist who was appointed Governor
General of Canada by Queen Elizabeth II had become the first Black
person on French television news in Canada during her work as a
news reporter and television host. She is the third and current (2017)
Secretary-General of the
Organisation Internationale de la
Francophonie
, which works to promote the cultures of regions where
French is the first language.


Michaelle Jean
September 6, 1957 - Present


The first African-American to be promoted to principal ballerina by the
American Ballet Theater, she was the recipient of many awards and
authored books that empower children of color, including her 2015
book, Firebird. Unlike most ballerinas, she didn’t start ballet training
early – she began dancing at the age of 13.  


View Answer

The first African-American to be promoted to principal ballerina by the
American Ballet Theater, she was the recipient of many awards and
authored books that empower children of color, including her 2015
book, Firebird. Unlike most ballerinas, she didn’t start ballet training
early – she began dancing at the age of 13.  



Misty Copeland
September 10, 1982 – Present


This track star, field athlete, and philanthropist ranked among the
all-time greatest athletes for her talent in the long jump and heptathlon.
She was voted by Sports Illustrated for Women magazine as the
“Greatest Female Athlete of All Time” and co-founded Athletes for Hope,
which helps professional athletes get involved in charitable causes and
support their communities.

View Answer

This track star, field athlete, and philanthropist ranked among the
all-time greatest athletes for her talent in the long jump and heptathlon.
She was voted by Sports Illustrated for Women magazine as the
“Greatest Female Athlete of All Time” and co-founded Athletes for Hope,
which helps professional athletes get involved in charitable causes and
support their communities.


Jackie Joyner Kersee
March 3, 1962 – Present


A four-time Olympic gold medal winner, she is listed on Forbes’ list of
the 100 highest paid athletes and serves as Chief Sporting Officer for
British luxury automobile manufacturer Aston Martin. She also currently
holds the most Grand Slam titles in singles, doubles, and mixed
doubles, combined.

View Answer

A four-time Olympic gold medal winner, she is listed on Forbes’ list of
the 100 highest paid athletes and serves as Chief Sporting Officer for
British luxury automobile manufacturer Aston Martin. She also currently
holds the most Grand Slam titles in singles, doubles, and mixed
doubles, combined.


Serena Williams
September 26, 1981 - Present


Originally trained as a gymnast, switching to figure skating at the age of
eleven, this woman is the only Olympic figure skater to successfully
land a backflip on one skate blade. She was also famous for her jumps
and risky moves as well as her bold and unusually colored costumes.

View Answer

Originally trained as a gymnast, switching to figure skating at the age of
eleven, this woman is the only Olympic figure skater to successfully
land a backflip on one skate blade. She was also famous for her jumps
and risky moves as well as her bold and unusually colored costumes.


Surya Bonaly
December 15, 1973 - Present


This track star, Olympic champion, and educator contracted polio at
the age of four and lost the use of her left leg. She eventually regained
her strength to become the first American woman to win three gold
medals in Track and Field during the 1960 summer Olympic games in
Rome.

View Answer

This track star, Olympic champion, and educator contracted polio at
the age of four and lost the use of her left leg. She eventually regained
her strength to become the first American woman to win three gold
medals in Track and Field during the 1960 summer Olympic games in
Rome.


Wilma Rudolph
June 23, 1940 - November 12, 1994


Diagnosed with cervical cancer in 1950, her cell culture was used to
create one of the most important cell lines in cancer research. Her cells
were the first cells observed that could be divided multiple times without
dying. As a result, they were used in many medical experiments snd
have been used to develop a vaccine for polio, and to research cancer,
AIDS, virology, and sensitivity to products.


She was given a posthumous honorary doctorate in public service in
2011 and inducted into the Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame in 2014.


View Answer

Diagnosed with cervical cancer in 1950, her cell culture was used to
create one of the most important cell lines in cancer research. Her cells
were the first cells observed that could be divided multiple times without
dying. As a result, they were used in many medical experiments snd
have been used to develop a vaccine for polio, and to research cancer,
AIDS, virology, and sensitivity to products.


She was given a posthumous honorary doctorate in public service in
2011 and inducted into the Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame in 2014.


Henrietta Lacks
August 1, 1920 - October 4, 1951





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