“African-American Women, Every African-American Woman Should Know”

11 Feb



{Question: How Can We Teach Them What We Haven’t Learned Ourselves?  Women of God, Know Your History, Spiritual and Natural}


Marian Anderson (1902-1995) FIRST African American to Sing a Leading Role with the Metropolitan Opera and also a Delegate to the U.N.

Ida B. Wells Barnett (1862-1931) African American Educator; Newspaper Woman; Anti-Lynching Campaigner; One of the Founders of the NAACP.

Mary McLeod Bethune (1875-1955) African American Educator; Founder of Bethune-Cookman College, Daytona Beach, Florida; Presidential Advisor; Recipient of Spingarn Medal.

Eliza Bryant (1827-1907) African American Founder of The Cleveland Home for Aged Colored People.

Mary Ann Shadd Cary (1823-1893) African American Born Pioneer; Journalist and Lecturer.

Bessie Coleman (1893-1926) FIRST African American Woman to Get a Pilot’s License.

Mary Fields (1832-1914) African American Entrepreneur; Stagecoach Driver; and Pioneer.

Zelma Watson George (1903-1994) African American Delegate to the U.N.; Opera Singer; Speaker and Educator.

Charlotte Forten Grimke (1837-1890) African American Writer; Abolitionist; and Educator.

Fannie Lou Hamer (1917-1977) African American Sharecropper Turned Civil Rights Worker and Founder of the MS Freedom Democratic Party.

Sally Hemings (1773-1835) African American Who Sacrificed Her Freedom from Slavery for the Love of President Thomas Jefferson.

Jane Edna Hunter (1882-1971) African American Social Worker; Attorney; Founder of Phyllis Wheatley Association of Cleveland.

Zora Neale Hurston (1903-1960) African American Writer from The Harlem Group; Influenced Toni Morrison and Alice Walker.

Mahalia Jackson (1912-1972) Extraordinary Gospel Singer and the FIRST African American Woman to Gain National Acclaim for Gospel Music.

Rebecca Jackson (1795-1871) African American Eldress of the Shaker Sect.

Harriet Jacobs (1813-1897) African American Escaped Slave; Author and Abolitionist.

Sissieretta Jones (1869-1933) African American International Vocal Prima Donna of Late 19th Century, Favorite of George Bernard Shaw and Several Presidents.

Barbara Jordan (1936-1996) African American Orator and Congresswoman.

Edmonia Lewis (1843-1907) FIRST Successful African American Sculptor.

Biddy Mason (1818-1891) Entrepreneur; One of the FIRST African American Women to Own Land in California.

Mrs. George (Hannah?) Peake (1755-18??) FIRST African American Settler of Cleveland.

Wilma Rudolph (1940-1994) African American Olympic Gold Medalist.

Bessie Smith (1894-1937) African American Blues Singer.

Valaida Snow (1903-1956) African American Band Leader and Trumpet Player.

Susan McKinney Steward (1848-1918) FIRST Female African American Doctor in New York State.

Susie King Taylor (1848-1912) FIRST African American U.S. Army Nurse During the Civil War.

Mary Church Terrell (1863-1954) African American Lecturer, Suffragette, Civil Rights Leader.

Sojourner Truth (Isabella Baumfree) (1797-1883) Considered One of the Greatest African American Abolitionists; Activist; Speaker and Thinker of All Time; Civil War Nurse; Suffragette. She Possessed a Gift for Public Speaking and Spoke Fervently about Abolishing Slavery and about the Need for Women’s Rights. In April of 2009, Sojourner Truth Became the FIRST Black Woman to be Honored with a Bust in the United States Capital. First Lady Michelle Obama, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senator Hillary Clinton were among those who spoke about Sojourner Truth at the Bust’s Unveiling.

Harriet Tubman (1820-1913) Considered the Greatest Underground Railroad Conductor; Army Scout; African American Suffragette. Over the Course of Ten Years (from 1850-1860), Tubman Guided Approximately 300 Slaves to Freedom. At One Point, Authorities Offered a Reward of $40,000 to Anyone Who Captured Tubman. People Referred to her as “Moses”.

Madame C.J. Walker (1867-1919) African American Entrepreneur; Millionaire; and Philanthropist.

Hazel Mountain Walker (1900-1980) African American Attorney; School Principal; Actress at Karamu.

Phyllis Wheatley (1753-1784) FIRST Noted African American Woman Poet.

Regina Anderson (1901-1993) African American Librarian and Playwright.

Lil Hardin Armstrong (1898-1971) African American Jazz Musician.

Pearl Bailey (1918-1990) African American Singer; Performer; Stage; Film; Special Ambassador.

Josephine Baker (Freda McDonald) (1906-1975) Noted African American Entertainer.

Marjorie Lee Browne (1914-1979) African American Educator and Notable Mathematician. The Second African American Woman to Receive a Doctoral Degree in the U.S. and One of the FIRST Black Women to Receive a Doctorate in Mathematics in the U.S.

Rosa Parks (1913-2005) Brave Seamstress; FIRST and SECOND African American to have been given a State Funeral – Her Casket Was Kept in the Capitol for Two Days Following Her Death (Something That Only Happens to Former Presidents). During Her Lifetime, She Received the Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor.

Daisy Bates (1914-1999) A Pivotal Civil Rights Activists and the Guide, Mentor, and Advisor for the Little Rock Nine. She Was Also the President of the State of Arkansas’s NAACP Chapter and Helped Her Husband Run a Weekly Newspaper, the Arkansas State Press, Which Chronicled the Ongoing Battle for Civil Rights in Arkansas During the 1950’s. She Advocated for Integration and Helped Identify the Nine Students Who Would Be the FIRST African American Students to Attend Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. In Addition to Fighting for Civil Rights, She Also Worked for the Democratic National Committee in Washington and Incubating Many Community Projects in Little Rock. Her Memoir, The Long Shadow of Little Rock: A Memoir Chronicles Her Experiences Growing Up and Her Involvement in the Struggle for Civil Rights.

Gwendolyn Brooks (1917-2000) She was one of the Most Influential American Writers and Poets of the 20th Century.  Based Primarily in Chicago, IL, a Center of Blues and Jazz Cultures, Her Poems Often Carry a Musical Quality, and Many Catalog the Black Experience. Brooks was the FIRST African American to Win the Pulitzer Prize (Which She Won for her Book of Poetry Annie Allen). Her Most Famous Poem is “We Real Cool.” She Wrote Over Twenty Books of Poetry During Her Lifetime, and was Honored with Many Awards, Including Serving as the Poet Laureate for the State of Illinois in 1968 and as a Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 1985 to 1986.

Pastor Essie R. Dunbar (1945-2012) Noted African American Educator of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Dr. Maya Angelou (1928 – Present) Noted Writer; Singer; Actress; Poet; Activist. Some of Her Great Books/Poems Include: Mom & Me & Mom; Great Food, All Day Long; Letter To My Daughter; The Collected Autobiographies of Maya Angelou; I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings; I Shall Not Be Moved; Gather Together in My Name; Singin’ and Swingin’ and Gettin’ Merry Like Christmas; Celebrations: Rituals of Peace and Prayer; Phenomenal Woman; My Painted House, My Friendly Chicken, and Me; A Song Flung Up to Heaven; Hallelujah: The Welcome Table; Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem; All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes; Still I Rise.

Toni Morrison (1931-Present) One of the Greatest Writers of the 20th and 21st Centuries, Known for Chronicling the History and Experiences of Black America. She Became the FIRST African American to Win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993, and the Swedish Academy Described Her as a Writer “Who in Novels Characterized by Visionary Force and Poetic Import, Gives Life to an Essential Aspect of American Reality”. Morrison’s Novel “Beloved” Also Won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Oprah Winfrey (1954 – Present) One of the Most Influential American TV Personalities, Philanthropists, and Producers. Oprah Winfrey Became the FIRST African American Woman to Host a National Television Talk Show in 1986. Within One Year, the Oprah Winfrey Show Was the Number One Talk Show in America. She has given Noteworthy Performances in Film Adaptations of “The Color Purple”, and “Native Son”, and Founded Her Own Production Company, Harpo Productions, Inc., in 1986. She Received the National Lifetime Achievement Award From the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and in 2003 Forbes Magazine Revealed Her to be the FIRST African American Woman to Become a Billionaire.

Dr. Mae Jemison (1955 – Present) Was a Mission Specialist for NASA and the FIRST African American Woman to Enter Space. She Was Born in Decatur Alabama in 1955, and Studied Chemical Engineering and Afro-American Studies at Stanford University. She Then Attended Cornell University’s Medical School and Used Her Degree Working in a Cambodian Refugee Camp. She Then Served as a Medical Specialist in the Peace Corps in West Africa. After NASA Selected Her to Undergo Mission Specialist Training, She Ventured into Space Aboard the Shuttle Endeavor in 1992. During Her Career as an Astronaut, She Logged 190 Hours, 30 Minutes, and 23 Seconds in Space.

The list could go on endlessly describing the lives of Powerful African-American Women Who Challenged and Changed History! But since most of us don’t even know half the women on this list, let’s at least begin here! It’s time we read up on our past and better our future!  And better than that, let’s obey and fulfill the Scripture Titus 2:4, “…THESE OLDER WOMEN MUST TRAIN THE YOUNGER WOMEN TO LIVE…TLB.

By The Way: Did You Really Pay Attention to the Type of Powerful Women We Descend From?


Today, Take Time Out to Encourage Our Young Women To Be More Than Another Half-Naked Woman on a Social Media Website or Magazine! Empower Our Young Women to Know that They Can Be Absolutely Anything They Determine to Become! Teach Them to Never Settle, Never Become Complacent, Never Be Fearful, Never Be Stagnant, Never Settle for the Status Quo! Train Them To Break Barriers, to Enlarge Their Territory and To Walk on New Grounds! They Descend From Some Great Women Who Have Challenged the World and Changed History…And The Work Is Still Incomplete! They Have To Add Their Part to the Next Page of Our History! Therefore, Teach And Train Them To Make It A Great Read For Generations To Come!

If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday” (Pearl Buck)

Professor Johnston often said that if you didn’t know history, you didn’t know anything. You were a leaf that didn’t know it was part of a tree” (Michael Crichton, Timeline)

History is Herstory, too” (Author Unknown)

Each time history repeats itself, the price goes up” (Author Unknown)

The challenge of history is to recover the past and introduce it to the present.” (David Thelen)

To see how Powerless we’ve become, Just take a glimpse of how Powerful we once were! Then Make a Deliberate Change For the Better” (SYS)

Feel Free to Join Us On Sisterhood School of Inspiration at: Today’s Lesson: “Tip of the Day Tuesday: 20 Lessons You Can Learn From Your Pets”

Also, Follow Us On Twitter @sysmininc; See us on ooVoo/Skpe @sysmininc ; Get a Snapshot of us on Instagram @Dr_SYS_Ministries or Friend Us On Facebook at:

Enjoy the Day, the Devotional, and Most Importantly, Your Loved Ones!  
What’s Coming Is Better Than What’s Been!
Love U 2 Life! Dr. SYS

As Always, Share With Others, and Share Your Feedback!

SYS Ministries, Inc. “Where the Inspired Word Empowers and Equips the Lives of God’s People”  {2 Timothy 3:16-17 AMP}

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4 responses to ““African-American Women, Every African-American Woman Should Know”

  1. kimberly

    February 11, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    thank you Dr. S…you are always profound. I appreciate your teaching. Blessings and Prosper! Thanks again. God bless you and your family!

    Like this

    • sysministriesinc

      February 12, 2014 at 12:15 pm

      Thanks so much for your feedback Kimberly, I appreciate it and you as always! Your encouragement is tremendous! Much Love Sis!

      Like this

  2. LaTanya Orr

    February 11, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    Reblogged this on LaTanya Orr and commented:
    Hi Dr. Shermaine- love this! Thanks so much.

    Like this

    • sysministriesinc

      February 12, 2014 at 12:16 pm

      Hi LaTanya, and thanks so much for sharing your feedback as well as reblogging the devotional, that made my day! Pray others will be encouraged just the same! I appreciate you for taking out the time, much love sis!

      Like this


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