11 Black Women Making History Right Now
Black History Month is almost over, but that doesn't mean that we're going to stop celebrating blackness. After seeing Black Panther earlier this week, I'm ready to make every month Black History Month. Until that becomes reality, I'll continue to give extra attention to women of color who deserve it during February. There's so much value in focusing on historical Black women, but it's important to pay attention to how many Black women are making history right now. These are the women our kids and grandkids will learn about in social studies classes decades from now. Even with all of the bad things currently happening in the world, it's a great time to be alive.
From athletes to activists, I've collected some of my favorite public figures who you should know about. As a Black woman, I know how important it is for kids of color to have people to look up to during their formative years. Representation is so important, and these women are killing it in their respective fields and setting an amazing example for little Black girls everywhere. This isn't an exhaustive list, but if you're looking for a powerful #WomanCrushWednesday, this list will definitely give you some ideas.
If you've been watching the 2018 Winter Olympics, Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian may look familiar. Fenlator-Victorian is from New Jersey and competed for the U.S. bobsled team during the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, according to NBC Olympics. This time around, she competed for Jamaica and became a member of the nation's first-ever female Olympic bobsledding team. Her extreme athletic accomplishments aside, first-ever is pretty historic.
Jemele Hill is an experienced sportscaster who works for ESPN, but she made international headlines after a conflict President Donald Trump last year. Hill called him a "white supremacist" and a "bigot" in a tweet; Trump publicly demanded an apology. According to Sports Illustrated, she has no regrets about her Trump comments. Her tweet will go down in the history of the #resistance.
If you've seen Black Panther, you already have an idea of Letitia Wright's talent after seeing her brilliant portrayal of Shuri. The Guyana-born actress said she hopes her role in the hit movie inspires girls to pursue science-related careers, per HuffPost.
The #MeToo hashtag gained traction on Twitter last year after Alyssa Milano asked her followers to use the phrase to call out how common sexual harassment is, but saying "me too" in the face of sexual harassment and assault began a decade ago with activist Tarana Burke. Considering how much the world has truly changed post-#MeToo, it's safe to say we'll be getting a nod to Burke in our future history books.
It was impossible to get through 2017 without hearing Cardi B's "Bodak Yellow" everywhere, and honestly, why would you want to avoid it? She's not only making hit songs — she's also smashing music industry records. Here's to watching Cardi B's shine all the way through to the future.
Ava DuVernay has always been a force, but her upcoming movie A Wrinkle in Time is another reason to love her. DuVernay is the first Black woman to direct a $100 million film, and she prioritized representation during casting.
My admiration of Roxane Gay began when I started following her on Twitter. She's an author, professor and commentator whose takes often challenge me in the best ways — I wasn't surprised to learn she's a New York Times best-selling author. Her insightful words have already impacted how we think about feminism, and will continue to do so for years to come.
If you had chills after seeing Michelle Obama's official portrait, you can thank Baltimore artist Amy Sherald. She's the first Black woman to paint an official National Portrait Gallery portrait of a president, which is fitting when you consider Obama's own historic journey.
It'd be impossible to list all the Black women who deserve to be recognized for their contributions, but this list is a reminder that Black excellence didn't start with Black History Month, and it definitely isn't going away anytime soon.