3 #BossLady Black Women Who Have Changed the Game

A reminder of societal contributions made by women of color

The details surrounding the recent Black Lives Matter protests in America have revealed the importance of adopting an intersectional approach to nearly every world issue we’re facing today. Fully understanding people and their struggles often require an approach that takes into consideration multiple factors, such as race, gender, and sexuality.

Our mission at Mariposa Sisters involves uplifting the female-identifying voice, in this instance Black women, and their often overlooked contributions to their communities.

Here are the stories of three women in the Black community whose efforts have made waves in the fight for racial justice and gender equality in the US.

  • Ida B. Wells (July 16, 1862–March 25, 1931)

    Lda B Wells

    Wells was an investigative journalist and one of the founding members of the NAACP. Having been born into slavery during the Civil War before being freed, she spent her life reporting and covering incidents of racial segregation and inequality. She was posthumously awarded a Pulitzer Prize for her reporting on the horrific cases of lynching at the time. Wells was also an active member of the suffragette movement.

  • Jane Bolin (April 11, 1908–January 8, 2007)

    Jane Bolin

    A woman of many firsts, Bolin was the first African-American woman to graduate from Yale Law school, the first to join the New York City Bar Association, and the first to serve as a judge in the United States. She used her platform to fight against racial discrimination from within the system, and she was especially passionate about advocating for the rights of children of color.

  • Ava DuVernay (Born August 24, 1972⁠)

    Ava DuVernay
    This image by Mariemaye is licensed under CC BY 3.0.

    In this new day and age of the film industry, DuVernay has played an instrumental role in offering a new perspective for a wide audience. Not only is she the first black woman to win the directing award at the Sundance Film Festival, but also the first to be nominated for both a Golden Globe Award for Best Director and an Academy Award for Best Picture. Her artistic contributions, through the film Selma, the documentary 13th, and the Netflix drama When They See Us have highlighted the state of racial inequity in the United States today.

    The current political climate serves as a reminder to pay attention to the women who have created art, resources, and paved paths for future generations. It’s important to remember these women, understand why their historic contributions are often overlooked, and learn how to uplift black women in the future.

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