Famous Women in Black History Facts

Rosa Louise McCauley Parks
Civil Rights Icon Rosa Parks

Introduction - Famous Black Women in History

On this page you will find a list of many of the famous black women in history who helped fight against discrimination based on color while also battling discrimination based on their gender. The African-American women listed here all either fought bravely for the civil rights of African-Americans or led by example showing African American women what was possible to accomplish. It is largely due to these female's bravery and dedication to their cause that black people including black women have come so far in their struggle for equality with white people; a struggle that is on-going.

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On this page you will find a list of 5 famous black women who were important in the fight for civil rights along with a short description of each; below that is a list of 10 additional famous women in black history. There are links to detailed pages of interesting facts about many of these women. Whether you are kid researching a report for black history month or an adult interested in this topic we hope you find this information helpful. This information includes who these women were, how and why they fought discrimination.

List of 5 Famous Black Women in History

  1. Rosa Louise McCauley Parks (1913 - 2005) - in 1955 Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama; resulting in her arrest for civil disobedience. This incident, which led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott, would make her a famous icon of the modern Civil Rights Movement. She is often referred to as "the first lady of civil rights" and "the mother of the freedom movement".
  2. Harriet Tubman - (1822 - 1913) - she escaped slavery and organized what has been dubbed the Underground Railroad; numerous safe houses and hideouts for slaves along a trail leading to freedom. She did this at great personal risk of being recaptured and sent back into slavery or even death. She helped dozens of black people escape bondage. During the American Civil War she helped the Union Army as a scout, nurse, cook, and even a spy who provide crucial information. Harriet Tubman is one of the most important and famous black women in history; when she died she was buried with full military honors.
  3. Dorothy Height (1912 - 2010) - was President of the National Council for Negro Women for forty years. In 2010 U.S. President Barack Obama referred to her as the "godmother of the civil rights movement". She was on stage with Martin Luther King, Jr., when he gave his famous "I Have a Dream" speech in 1963. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1994.
  4. Diane Nash (born May 15, 1938) - a civil rights activist and a co-founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Her contributions to the black civil rights movement includes organizing lunch counter sit-ins in white only sections and helping bring Martin Luther King, Jr. to Montgomery, Alabama to support the bus boycott.
  5. Daisy Lee Gatson Bates (November 11, 1914 - November 4, 1999) - was president of the Arkansas State Conference of the NAACP. Most famous for fighting for the right of 9 black students, referred to as the Little Rock Nine, to enroll in Little Rock Central High School. The incident gained national attention and pitted the governor of Arkansas against U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

10 Additional Famous Black Women in History

  1. Ella Josephine Baker (1903 - 1986)
  2. Michelle Obama (born January 17, 1964)
  3. Shirley Chisholm (1924 - 2005)
  4. Septima Clark (1898 - 1987)
  5. Fannie Lou Hamer (1917 - 1977)
  6. Jo-Ann Robinson (1912 - 1992)
  7. Clara Luper (1923 - 2011)
  8. Maya Angelou (1928 - 2014)
  9. Lena Horne (1917 - 2010)
  10. Prathia Hall (1940 - 2002)