These Black Women Make Sure Their Communities Are Seen

Meet 11 black women who are encouraging others to see the beauty in themselves.

The achievements of black women are often celebrated in retrospect. They are rarely uplifted and honored as they are breaking ground. Former Rep. Shirley Chisholm, actress Hattie McDaniel, investigative journalist Ida B. Wells and scientists Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson are prime examples of black women who were not revered as the trailblazers they were until after their deaths.

This Women’s History Month, I wanted to give 11 black women their flowers while they’re still with us. The premise of my project is simple: highlight black women who are alive and doing wondrous work in their communities — through entrepreneurship, art, food, policy and physical activity — but who, like their predecessors, may not currently be household names.

The stories will be added below as they are published. Enjoy.

“If I am out there living and breathing and attempting, not having to be the best at it, but attempting, that is a powerful statement of its own.”
“There's power in embracing who you are, your history, what you look like and not trying to pretend to be somebody else.”
“When you do have symbols of representation that are readily available to you, it becomes real. It becomes possible. It becomes something you can envision yourself as.”
“Vulnerability is scary. I associate bravery with vulnerability because it takes bravery to be vulnerable,” the Brooklyn wellness expert says.
“When wellness is constantly marketed as a white woman who is eating really exclusive food, people don't see themselves represented in that,” said Lopez.
“You deserve to be able to walk down the street and get something healthy and not have to search for it.”
“More black women need to continue to see themselves reflected in every facet of entrepreneurial spaces — from technology to engineering, to science, to art — in order to increase the number of us who have the opportunity to succeed in those spaces,” said Cofield.
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