The Black Chronicles

black women important in history

Black Women in history we wish we learned about

Alice Coachman

Alice Coachman became the first African American Woman from any country in the world to win an Olympic Gold Medal. Coachman competed in the 1948 Summer Olympics in London, United Kingdom. Born in 1923 in Albany Georgia, Alice was the fifth child from a total of 10 children. As you know 1923 was a nightmare time for African Americans, especially Black Women. Alice was denied training facilities that others were privileged to use, Alice trained by getting creative and running on dirt roads and creating her own hurdles to practice.

“I’ve always believed that I could do whatever I set my mind to do”

Phillis Wheatley

Phillis Wheatly was enslaved, yet she was known to be one of the best poets in pre-19th century America. Wheatly was taken from Senegal/Gambia, West Africa, when she was about seven years old. She was transported to the Boston docks with others who were going to be slaves, but because of her age and frailty, she was spared from hard labor. Phillis learned how to read and write English by the age of nine, in the process she familiarized herself with the Bible, Latin and Greek. She began writing poetry at the age of thirteen and was the first African America women to publish a book of poetry in the “colonies.”

“Enlarge the closed contracted mind, and fill it with thy fire”

Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Sister Sharpe was a was an American singer, songwriter, guitarist and a recording artist. Sharpe obtained popularity in the 1930s with her gospel recordings because of the creativity characterized in the recordings with Rock and Roll. Sister Sharpe was regarded as one of the first great recording star of gospel music, later being referred to as “the original soul sister” and “the Godmother of rock and roll.” Sister Rosetta Sharpe heavily influenced early rock and roll musicians like Little Richard, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Chuck Berry and much more. She was a pioneer in the guitar technique she was known for, among the first to the popularize the heavy distortion on her guitar, presaging the rise of the electric blues.

“Can’t no man play like me, I play better than a man”

Claudette Colvin

Before Rosa Parks, there was Claudette Colvin. Not many people know the story of Claudette Colvin, when she was 15 she refused to move to the back of the bus and give up her seat to a white person nine months before Rosa Parks did the same thing. Most people are aware of Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Alabama bus boycott that started in 1955. Not many people know that there were more women who refused to gave up their seat on the same bus system Rosa Parks did, why? Most of the women were quietly fined and no one learned nothing about their bravery. Colvin being one of the first to challenge the law.

“You can’t sugarcoat it. You have to take a stand and say, “this is not right.”

The voice of a Black Woman should always be HERSELF… no edits – no erasure – no pressure – no expectations – no additions – no intruders”

Malebo Sephodi

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