Biographical Quick Reference

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Black Women Biographical Quick Reference: An annotated list of prominent and influencial black women in American history.

Virtually all of the women are profiled in one or both of these books: Black Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia and Facts on File Encyclopedia of Black Women (More information at Books, pg. 2)

Addison, Adele (1925-) classical music singer (soprano)
Akers, Doris (1923-1995) gospel music composer
Albert, Octavia Victoria Rogers (1853-c.1890) compiled one of the first post-Civil War books of slave narratives, only fifteen years after emancipation
Allen, Debbie (1950-) director, choreographer, dancer and actor
Allen, Sarah (1764-1849) a founder of the Daughters of Conference of the AME Church
Allensworth, Josephine Leavell (1855-1939) co-founder of the all-black "race colony" of Allensworth, California
Anderson, Ernestine (1928-) jazz singer
Anderson, Marion (1902-1993) opera star
Angelou, Maya (1928-) poet and writer
Armstrong, Lillian ("Lil") Hardin (1898-1971) jazz singer, pianist and composer
Ashby, Dorothy Jeanne Thompson (1932-1986) jazz harpist and bandleader
Austin, Lovie (1887-1972) blues pianist
Avery, Byllye Y. (1937-) founding president of the National Black Women's Health Project
Bailey, Pearl (1918-1990) actor, dancer, singer
Baker, Ella Josephine (1903-1986) political and civil rights activist, founder of SNCC
Baker Josephine (1906-1975) dancer, early performance artist, resistance fighter (WWII)
Baker, LaVern (1929-1997) pioneer rhythm and blues singer
Baldwin, Maria Louise (1856-1922)educator, lecturer
Bambara, Toni Cade (1939-1995) writer
Barnett, Marguerite Ross (1942-1992) political scientist
Barrett, Janie Porter (1865-1948) founder of the first social settlement in Virginia
Barrett, "Sweet Emma" (1898-1983) New Orleans jazz pianist and singer, member of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Bass, Charlotta Spears (1880-1969) a founder of the Progressive party, first black woman to run for vice president of the United States
Bates, Daisy Lee Gatson (1920-1999) journalist, civil rights activist, leader of the "Little Rock Nine"
Batson, Flora (1864-1906) concert singer (baritone to soprano range)
Battle, Kathleen (1948-) opera singer (soprano)
Bearden, Bessye (c.1891-1943) journalist, community activist
Beasley, Delilah Leontium (1872-1934) author and journalist, wrote The Negro Trailblazers of California
Beavers, Louise (1908-1962) film and television actor
Becroft, Anne Marie (1805-1833) educator, early black nun
Bennett, Gwendolyn (1902-1981) journalist, writer, poet
Bentley, Gladys (1907-1960) lesbian entertainer, singer, cabaret star c.1920s-1930s
Berry, Halle (1966-) actress
Berry, Mary Frances (1938-) political activist, lawyer, historian, public servant
Bethune, Mary McLeod (1875-1955) educator, political leader, civil servant, civil rights activist, founder and first president of the National Council of Negro Women
Blackwell, Unita (1933-) civil rights activist, regional planner, housing expert, founding member of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, first black woman mayor in the history of Mississippi
Blount, Mildred (1907-1974?) milliner (to Hollywood stars and other famous people!)
Bolden, Dorothy Lee (1923-2002) union organizer, community and civil rights activist, domestic worker
Bolin, Jane Mathilda (1908-2007) judge (first black woman)
Bonds, Margaret Allison Richardson (1913-1972) pianist and composer
Bonner, Marita (1899-1971) essayist, playwright, short-story writer
Boone, Eva Roberta Coles (1880-1902) Baptist missionary to Africa
Bowen, Cornelia (1858-1934) educator
Bowen, Ruth (1924-2009) businesswoman, founder of Queen Booking Agency
Bowles, Eva Del Vakia (1875-1943) activist, Secretary for Colored Work for the YWCA National Board
Bowman, Laura (1881-1957) stage and film actor, singer
Bowman, Sister Thea (1937-1990) singer, dancer, liturgist, educator, Franciscan nun
Bowser, Mary Elizabeth (b. c.1840s-?) Union spy during the Civil War, worked as a domestic in Jefferson Davis' home
Boynton, Amelia (1911-) civil rights activist
Bozeman, Sylvia Trimble (1947-) mathematician
Bragg, Janet Harmon Waterford (1907-1993) nurse and aviator
Brandon, Barbara (1958-) cartoonist
Braun, Carol Moseley (1947-) politician
Brice, Carol (1918-1985) classical singer, musical theatre performer
Bricktop (Ada Smith) (1894-1984) vaudevillian, international host and nightclub owner
Britton Mary E. (dates unknown c. mid 1800s through the turn of the century) M.D., elocutionist, educator, journalist, metaphysician
Brooks, Gwendolyn (1917-2000) poet, first black person to receive the Pulitzer Prize
Brown, Anne Wiggins (1915-2009) concert singer, teacher, originator of the role of Bess in the opera Porgy and Bess
Brown, Charlotte Hawkins (1883-1961) educator, club woman, activist
Brown, Elaine (1943-) activist, Black Panther
Brown, Hallie Quinn (c.1845-1949) public speaker, educator, civil and women's rights activist
Brown, Letitia Woods (1915-1976) historian
Brown, Linda Beatrice (1939-) writer, poet, educator
Brown, Linda Carol (1943-) teacher, community activist, "named plaintiff" in Brown v. Board of Education (1954)
Brown, Ruth (1928-2006) rhythm and blues singer
Brown, Willa Beatrice (1906-1992) aviator
Browne, Marjorie Lee (1914-1979) mathmetician, one of the first two black women to earn a doctorate in mathematics
Bryant, Hazel Joan (1939-1983) actor, opera singer, director, playwright
Burke, Selma Hortense (1900-1995) sculptor
Burke, Yvonne Braithwaite (1932-) politician
Burks, Mary Fair (d. 1991) scholar, college professor, founder and first president of Women's Political Council (Montgomery, Alabama)
Burrill, Mary P. (c.1884-1946) playwright, director, educator
Burroughs, Margaret Taylor Goss (1917-) founder of the Du Sable Museum, Chicago
Burroughs, Nannie Helen (1879-1961) founder and president of the National Training School for Women and Girls, Washington D.C.
Bush, Anita (1883-1974) stage and screen actor, founder of the Lafayette Players
Butler, Octavia (1947-2006) science fiction writer
Butler, Selena Sloan (1872?-1964) founder of modern-day Parent-Teacher Associations
Caesar, Shirley (1938-) gospel singer
Carlisle, Una Mae (1915-1956) jazz singer and piano player
Carroll, Diahann (1935-) stage, film and television actor and singer
Carroll, Vinnette (1922-2002) director and playwright
Cary, Mary Ann Shadd (1823-1893) first black woman lawyer in the U.S., journalist, activist
Catlett, Elizabeth (1919-) sculptor and printmaker
Childress, Alice (1920-1994) playwright, novelist, actor, essayist, journalist
Chisolm, Shirley (1924-2005) feminist, activist, politician
Clark, Septima Poinsette (1898-1987) civil rights activist, founder of the citizenship schools
Cleaver, Kathleen Neal (1945-) activist, Black Panther, lawyer
Clifton, Lucille (1936-) writer
Coachman, Alice (1921-) athlete (high jump), Olympic champion
Coincoin (1742-1816) enslaved woman, free woman, cattle rancher, farmer, plantation owner, slave owner
Cole, Johnetta Betsch (1936-) educator, college president
Cole, Rebecca J. (1846-1922) second black woman doctor in the U.S.
Coleman, Bessie (1896-1926) aviator
Collins, Cardiss Robertson (1931-) politician
Collins, Janet (1923-2003) ballerina
Collins, Marva N. (1936-) educator, founder of the Westside Preparatory School
Cooper, Anna Julia Haywood (1858-1964) writer, educator, activist
Cotton, Elizabeth "Libba" (c.1895-1987) folk singer
Couvent, Marie Bernard (c.1757-1837) founder of oldest continuously existing black Catholic school in the U.S.
Craft, Ellen (1826-1891) escaped slave, anti-slavery activist, teacher, farmer
Crumpler, Rebecca Lee (1833-1895) first black woman to receive a medical degree in the U.S.
Dandridge, Dorothy (1922-1965) film actor
Dash, Julie (1952-) filmmaker
Davidson, Olivia America (1854-1889) educator, helped found Tuskegee Institute
Davis, Angela (1944-) activist, writer, lecturer, college professor
Davis, Henrietta Vinton (1860-1941) actor, United Negro Improvement Association leader
Day, Caroline Stewart Bond (1889-1948) anthropologist
Dearing, Judy (1940-) Broadway costume designer
Dee, Ruby (1924-) stage, film and television actor
DeFrantz, Anita (1952-) Olympic rowing champion, activist
DeLavallade, Carmen (1931-) modern, ballet and theatrical dancer, actor
Donegan, Dorothy (1922-1998) jazz pianist
Douglass, Sarah Mapps (1806-1882) teacher and abolitionist)
Dove, Rita (1952-) poet
Dunham, Katherine (1909-2006) dancer, choreographer, anthropologist
Earley, Charity Adams (1918-2002) first black commissioned officer in the WACs
Early, Sarah Jane Woodson (1825-1907) nationalist and feminist activist, one of the first black women to receive a college degree, the first black woman faculty member of a U.S. university
Edelman, Marian Wright (1939-) lawyer, civil rights activist, children's advocate, head of the Children's Defense Fund
Evanti, Lillian Evans (1890-1967) opera singer (lyric soprano)
Fauset, Jessie Redmon (1882-1961) novelist, editor
Ferguson, Catherine (Katy) (c.1774-1854) founded New York's first Sunday School
Fisher, Ada Louise Sipuel (1924-1995) lawyer, first black woman to attend an all-white law school in the South
Fitzgerald, Ella (1918-2001) jazz singer
Flack, Roberta (1940-) popular music singer
Forten, Margaretta (c.1815-1875) educator, abolitionist
Forten, Sarah Louisa (Purvis) (1814-1883) abolitionist
Forten, Harriet D. (Purvis) (1810-1875) abolitionist
Foster, Autherine Juanita Lucy (1929-) teacher, first black student be enrolled at the University of Alabama
Franklin, Aretha (1942-) soul/rhythm and blues singer
Freeman, Elizabeth "Mum Bett" (c.1744-1829) brought the first lawsuit which used the wording of a state constitution to win freedom from slavery
Fuller, Meta Vaux Warrick (1877-1968) sculptor
Gannett, Deborah Sampson (1760-1827) Revolutionary War soldier
Garrison, Zina (1963-) tennis player
Gibson, Althea (1927-2003) tennis player, broke the tennis color barrier, first black person to play and win at Wimbledon
Giovanni, Nikki (1943-) poet, writer
Goldberg, Whoopi (1949-) comedian, film star
Greenfield, Elizabeth Taylor (c.1819-1876) concert singer
Grimke, Angelina Weld (1880-1958) playwright, poet, short-story writer
Grimke, Charlotte L. Forten (1837-1914) poet, anti-slavery and civil rights activist, educator
Hale, Clara(Mother) McBride (1904-1992) social activist, founder of Hale House
Hall, Adelaide (1901-1993) singer, actor, comedian
Hall, Juanita (1901-1968) actor, singer
Hamer, Fannie Lou (1917-1977) political and civil rights activist, founder of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party
Hamilton, Virginia Esther (1936-2002) children's book author
Hansberry, Lorraine (1930-1965) playwright
Harper, Frances Ellen Watkins (1825-1911) journalist, novelist, poet
Harris, Barbara (1930-) Episcopal bishop
Harris, Marcelite Jordan (1943-) U.S. Air Force general
Harris, Patricia Roberts (1924-1985) diplomat, politician, academic
Harrison, Hazel (1883-1969) concert pianist
Hedgeman, Anna Arnold (1899-1990) civil and women's rights activist
Height, Dorothy Irene (1912-) community organizer, civic leader
Holiday, Billie (1915-1959) blues singer
Holt, Nora Douglas (1885-1974) music critic, composer
Hope, Lugenia Burns (1871-1947) community activist, social reformer
Horn, Shirley (1934-2005) jazz singer and piano player
Horne, Lena (1917-) singer, dancer, film and stage actor
Hunter, Alberta (1895-1984) blues singer
Hunter, Clementine (1886-1988) painter
Hunter, Kristin (1931-) children's book author
Hunter-Gault, Charlayne (1942-) journalist
Hurston, Zora Neale (1891-1960) writer
Jackson, Mahalia (1911-1972) gospel singer
Jacobs, Harriet Ann (1813-1897) enslaved woman, free woman, author
James, Etta (1938-) rhythm and blues singer
Jamison, Judith (1944-) modern dancer
Jemison, Mae C. (1956-) astronaut
Jessye, Eva (1895-1992) singer, composer, choral director
Johnson, Georgia Douglas (1877-1966) musician, poet, playwright columnist, short-story writer
Jones, Lois Mailou (1905-1998) painter
Jones, Sissieretta Joyner (1868-1933) concert singer, early musical comedy producer and performer
Jordan, Barbara Charline (1936-1996) educator, politician, eloquent public speaker
Joyner, Florence Griffith (1959-1998) track athlete (sprinter), Olympic champion
Joyner-Kersee, Jackie (1962-) track and field athlete, (heptaphlon, etc.), Olympic champion
Keckley, Elizabeth (1818-1907) enslaved woman, free woman, dress designer, abolitionist
Kennedy, Flo (1916-2000) lawyer, political activist
King, Coretta Scott (1927-2006) civil rights leader
Kitt, Eartha (1928-2008) dancer, stage, film and television actor
LaBelle, Patti (1944-) rhythm and blues/soul singer
Lampkin, Daisy Elizabeth Adams (c.1884-1965) civil rights leader
Laveau, Marie (c.1790-1881) Voodoo priestess
Lee, Jarena (b.1783-d.?) early AME preacher
LeNoire, Rosetta Olive Burton (1911-2002) stage, film and television actor and singer
Lewis, Mary Edmonia "Wildfire" (b.c.1843-d.?) sculptor
Lincoln, Abbey (1930-) jazz singer, actor, songwriter, scholar
Liston, Melba (1926-1999) jazz trombone player, composer, arranger
Logan, Adella Hunt (1863-1915) educator
Lorde, Audre (1934-1992) feminist, lesbian, poet
Mabley, Jackie "Moms" (1897-1975) comedian, vaudevillian
Mahoney, Mary Eliza (1845-1926) nurse
Marshall, Paule (1929-) poet, novelist
Martin, Roberta (1907-1969) gospel singer
Mason, (Bridget) Biddy (1818-1891) enslaved woman, free woman, California pioneer, nurse, midwife
Maynor, Dorothy (1910-1996) concert singer, founder of the Harlem School of the Arts
McCabe, Jewel Jackson (1945-) businesswoman
McClendon, Rose (1884-1936) stage actor
McDaniel, Hattie (1895-1952) film and radio actor
McKinney, Nina Mae (1913-1967) singer, film actor
McMillan, Enolia Pettigen (1904-2006) civil rights activist, educator
McMillan, Terry (1951-) novelist
McNeil, Claudia (1917-1993) vaudeville and nightclub singer, stage, film and television actor
McQueen, Butterfly (1911-1995) film actor, community and social worker
McRae, Carmen (1922-1994) jazz singer
Menken, Adah Isaacs (1835-1868) actor
Mercer, Mabel (1900-1984) jazz singer
Meriwether, Louise (1923-) journalist, novelist, social activist
Miller, May (Sullivan) (1899-1995) playwright
Mills, Florence (1896-1927) singer, dancer, musical comedy star
Mitchell, Abbie (1884-1960) singer, actor
Mitchell, Juanita Jackson (1913-1992) lawyer, civil rights activist
Moore, Audley (Queen Mother) (1898-1997) nationalist and social activist
Moore, Dorothy Rudd (1940-) composer
Morrison, Toni (1931-) novelist, Nobel Prize winner
Mossell, Gertrude E.H. Bustill (1855-1948) journalist, feminist, social reformer
Moten, Lucy Ella (1851-1933) educator
Motley, Constance Baker (1921-2005) lawyer, civil rights activist
Mouttoussamy-Ashe, Jeanne (1951-) photographer, historian
Murray, Pauli (1910-1985) women's and civil rights activist, lawyer, poet, educator, minister
Nash, Diane (1938-) civil rights activist
Nash, Helen E. (1921-) physician, child advocate
Naylor, Gloria (1950-) short-story writer, novelist
Nickerson, Camille Lucie (1887-1982) Creole music historian, educator
Norman, Jessye (1945-) opera star (soprano)
Odetta (1930-2008) folk singer
Oglesby, Mary (1915-) educator, aviator, community activist
Ormes, Zelda Jackson "Jackie" (1917-1986) cartoonist
Parks, Rosa (1913-2005) civil rights activist, seamstress
Parsons, Lucy (1853-1942) anarchist, socialist, communist
Payne, Ethel L. (1911-1991) journalist
Peake, Mary Smith Kelsey (1823-1862) educator, philanthropist
Perry, Carrie Saxon (1931-) politician
Perry, Julia Amanda (1924-1979) composer, conductor
Petry, Ann Lane (1908-1997) novelist
Pindell, Howardena (1943-) visual artist
Player, Willa B. (1909-2003) educator, civil and women's rights activist
Pleasant, Mary Ellen (1814-1904) abolitionist, California pioneer, entrepreneur, madam (possibly)
Powers, Harriet (1837-1911) quilter
Preer, Evelyn (1896-1932) stage and silent film actor
Prendergast, Shirley (1932-) theatrical lighting designer
Price, Leontyne (1927-) opera star (soprano)
Primus, Pearl (1919-1994) modern dancer and choreographer, anthropologist
Prince, Lucy Terry (c.1730-1821) enslaved woman, free woman, poet, advocate, civic leader
Prince, Nancy Gardner (1799-c.1856) writer, religious reformer, anti-slavery and women's rights activist
Prophet, Nancy Elizabeth (1890-1960) sculptor
Quarles, Norma R. (1936-) journalist
Rainey, Ma (1886-1939) blues singer
Ray, Charlotte E. (1850-1911) lawyer
Reese, Della (1931-) Pop, soul and gospel singer, television and film actor
Remond, Sarah Parker (1826-1894) anti-slavery lecturer and activist
Richards, Beah (c.1933-) poet, playwright and stage, film and television actor
Richardson, Gloria St. Clair Hayes (1922-) civil rights activist
Ringgold, Faith (1934-) painter, sculptor, performance artist
Roberts, Lillian Davis (1928-) labor leader
Robeson, Eslanda Goode (1896-1965) intellectual, writer, activist
Robinson, Jo Ann Gibson (1912-1992) college professor, civil rights activist
Rogers, Octavia V. (1853-1890) teacher, writer
Ross, Diana (the Supremes) (1944-) Motown/soul singer
Rudolph, Wilma Glodean (1940-1994) athlete, Olympic champion (sprinter)
Ruffin, Josephine St. Pierre (1842-1924) women's club activist, journalist, suffragist
Saar, Betye (1926-) visual artist
Sampson, Edith (1901-1979) lawyer, judge
Sanchez, Sonia (1934-) civil rights activist, poet, playwright
Sanders, Maude (1903-) educator, physician, health care advocate
Sands, Diana (1934-1973) Broadway star
Savage, Augusta (1892-1962) visual artist, sculptor, director of the Harlem Community Art Center
Schuyler, Phillipa Duke (1931-1967) composer, pianist, journalist
Scott, Gloria Dean Randle (1938-) women's rights activist, college president, educator
Scott, Hazel (1920-1981) musician, singer, stage radio, television and film actor
Selika, Marie Smith (c.1849-1937) concert singer
Shabazz, Hajj Bahiyah Betty (1936-1997) educator, community, health and child care activist
Shange, Ntozake (1948-) playwright, short-story writer, poet, novelist, essayist
Shockley, Ann Allen (1927-) librarian, novelist, journalist, educator, feminist political activist
Simkins, Mary Modjeska Monteith (1899-1992) human rights activist
Simone, Nina (1933-2003) jazz/blues/soul singer and pianist
Simpson, Carole (1940-) journalist
Simpson, Georgiana (1866-1944) scholar, educator, first black woman Ph.D.
Simpson, Valerie (1948-) soul singer, songwriter
Sizemore, Barbara (1927-2004) educator, education administrator
Sklarek, Norma Merrick (1928-) architect
Slew, Jenny (b.c.1719-d.?) advocate, successfully sued for her freedom
Slowe, Lucy Diggs (1885-1936) educator, education administrator
Smith, Amanda Berry (1837-1915) evangelist
Smith, Bessie (1894-1937) blues singer
Smith, Lucie Wilmot (b.1861-1890) journalist, suffragist, civil rights activist
Smith, Mable Louise (1924-1972) jazz/blues singer
Smith, Mamie (1893-1946) blues singer
Smith, Willie Mae Ford (1904-1994) gospel singer
Smith-Robinson, Ruby Doris (1942-1967) civil rights activist
Snow, Valaida (c.1909-1956) jazz trumpeter, arranger, composer
Spence, Eulalie (1894-1981) playwright
Spencer, Anne (1882-1975) poet
Spikes, Delores Margaret Richard (1936-) educator, education administrator
Staples, Mavis (c.1940-) gospel/pop singer
Staupers, Mabel Keaton (1890-1989) nurse, civil rights advocate
Steward, Susan McKinney (1847-1918) physician
Stewart, Ellen (c.1920-) founder of La MaMa ETC, experimental New York theatre
Stewart, Maria W. (1803-1879) public speaker, writer, political activist, educator
Stewart-Lai, Carlotta (1881-1952) educator, educational administrator
Stokes, Ora Brown (1882-1957) community leader
Stout, Juanita Kidd (1919-1998) lawyer, judge
Stringer, C. Vivian (1948-) athlete, basketball coach
Sul-Te-Wan, Madame (1873-1959) film actor
Talbert, Mary Morris Burnett (1866-1923) educator, lecturer, human rights advocate
Tanneyhill, Ann (Anna) Elizabeth (1906-2001) executive of the National Urban League
Tate, Merze (1905-1996) educator, scholar
Taylor, Anna Diggs (1932-) lawyer, judge, civil rights advocate
Taylor, Koko (1935-) blues singer
Taylor, Mildred (1943-) children's book author
Taylor, Susie Baker King (1848-1912) writer, nurse, educator, laundress
Teer, Barbara Ann (1937-2008) dancer, stage, film and television actor, director, producer, writer, educator, entrepreneur, real estate developer
Temple, Ruth Janetta (1892-1984) physician, public health administrator
Terrell, Mary Eliza Church (1863-1954) civil and women's rights activist
Tharpe, Sister Rosetta (c.1915-1973) gospel singer, musician
Thomas, Alma (1891-1978) abstract painter
Thompson, Era Bell (1906-1986) magazine editor
Thoms, Adah Belle Samuels (c.1870-1943) nurse
Tituba enslaved woman, weaver, convicted of witchcraft in the Salem witch trials
Truth, Sojourner (c.1799-1883) enslaved woman, free woman, abolitionist, women's rights activist, public speaker, evangelist, itinerant preacher
Tubman, Harriet Ross (c.1821-1913) escaped slave, Underground Railroad conductor, abolitionist, public speaker, Civil War spy, scout, soldier and nurse, social reformer
Turner, Tina (1939-) Motown/soul/pop singer
Tyson, Cicely (1939-) film, television and stage star
Vashon, Susan Paul (1838-1912) educator, educational administrator, community organizer, clubwoman, philanthropist
Vaughan, Sarah (1924-1991) jazz singer
Walker, Aida Overton (1880-1914) singer, dancer, actor, first black international superstar
Walker, A'lelia (1885-1931) philanthropist, socialite, Harlem Renaissance arts patron
Walker, Alice (1944-) novelist, short-story writer, essayist, poet, educator, biographer, editor
Walker, Madam C.J. (Sarah Breedlove) (1867-1919) entrepreneur, millionaire, philanthropist, political activist, hair-care industry pioneer
Walker, Maggie Lena (c.1867-1934) community and business leader, bank president, civil and women's rights activist
Walker, Margaret (1915-1998) writer
Waring, Laura Wheeler (1887-1948) painter, educator
Warwick, Dionne (1940-) soul singer
Washington, Dinah (1924-1963) blues singer
Washington, Fredi (1903-1994) stage and film actor, writer, dancer, singer
Washington, Josephine Turpin (1861-1949) writer, educator
Washington, Margaret Murray (c.1865-1925) club woman, community leader
Waters, Ethel (1896-1977) stage, film and television actor, blues singer
Waters, Maxine (1938-) United States Congresswoman
Wattleton, Faye (1943-) first Black woman president of Planned Parenthood
Welcome, Verda Freeman (1907-1990) civil rights activist, politician
Wells-Barnett, Ida Bell (1862-1931) civil, women's and economic rights activist and leader, suffragist, journalist, newspaper editor, moral force
West, Dorothy (1907-1998) journalist, short-story writer, novelist
Wheatley, Phillis (Peters) (c.1753-1784) enslaved woman, poet, free woman
White, Willye B. (1940-2007) track and field athlete (long jump), Olympic champion
Williams, Fannie Barrier (1855-1944) club woman, social reformer, philanthropist
Williams, Marion (1927-1994) gospel singer
Williams, Mary Lou (1910-1981) jazz pianist, arranger, composer
Williams, Myrlie Beasley Evers (c.1932-) civil rights activist, public speaker, public servant
Williams, Vanessa Lynn (1963-) former Miss America, film and television actor, singer
Willis, Gertrude Pocte Geddes (1878-1970) business leader, community activist
Wilson, Harriet E. (b.c.1825-d.1900) novelist
Wilson, Margaret Bush (1919-) lawyer
Wilson, Nancy (1937-) jazz singer
Winfrey, Oprah (1954-) talk show host, film and television actor, entrepreneur
Woodard, Lynette (1959-) basketball player, first female Harlem Globetrotter
Young, Roger Arliner (1889-1964) zoologist







Mary McLeod Bethune

Scurlock Studio photo, Archives Center, National Museum of American History







Carte de visite of Sojourner Truth, ca. 1864.

Library of Congress, neg #: LC-DIG-ppmsca-08979




Ida B. Wells

From the book Sparkling Gems of Race Knowledge Worth Reading, compiled by James T. Haley (1897) and found on the Project Gutenberg web-site