As Women’s History Month comes to a close, we wanted to take a moment to highlight black women who are making history, right now. At a point in time where women in general are being challenged now more than ever, recent events of black girls going missing, and the continued attack on black lives, our sheroes are keeping us grounded and giving us hope for the future and beyond.
We had to start our list with the graceful Misty Copeland. Copeland is the first black principal dancer of the prestigious American Ballet Theatre. Although this is a wondrous feat in itself, the fact that Copeland did not start dancing until she was a teenager is just another nod to her talent and determination. Misty Copeland has become a pioneer for black women in dance and an inspiration for young black girls. With Copeland’s rise, there has been an increase in the visuals of black ballerinas of all ages. Yasss for representation.
A couple years back we all watched Selma and were introduced to the genius that is Ava DuVernay. A screenwriter and director, DuVernay is the first black woman to direct an Oscar nominated film for Best Picture. And Selma was just the beginning. DuVernay is the mind behind the gripping documentary 13th which examines mass incarceration of black people in America as well as a mastermind behind the award-winning television drama Queen Sugar. And the fact that she didn’t direct her first movie until she was 32 years old is an inspiration to us all that: It’s never too late to chase your dreams.
The world might be a bit behind catching up on the talent that Viola Davis possesses, but the rest of us have loved her for years. The girl who grew up losing herself in the movies she watched as a child has become one of the most recognized black actresses of our time. Davis was the first black woman to win an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress for her work on the suspenseful drama How to Get Away with Murder. And most recently, she took home and Oscar for her supporting role in Fences. Her speeches are some of the most moving in Hollywood always supporting and empowering black women. Take a few minutes and check them out if you’ve missed them!
Anyone else binge watch seasons of OITNB the day they’re released? Of the casts diverse display of black womanhood, Laverne Cox is one of the most dynamic. Cox, a transgender actress, was the first transgender person to be nominated for an Emmy Award. Aside from her phenomenal acting skills, Cox is an active advocate for the LGBTQ community.