Unrecognized Black Women in History by Valerie Cheers Brown


“If you get, give.  If you learn, teach.” ~ Maya Angelou


Each February, in acknowledgment of Black History Month, we’re reintroduced to powerful individuals in our history who have left stamps in their separate commercial enterprises. These individuals were awesome. Their boldness surpassed their apprehension and they held immovable in their battle for equity and correspondence for mankind.

Yet, while we’re always reminded to remember the Dr. Martin Luther Kings, Harriet Tubmans, Malcolms, and Rosa Parks of the past, there are numerous other black pioneers that regularly go unrecognized. Their paths were just as difficult and their fights just as courageous.

So as Black History Month inspires prepared to find some conclusion, we might want to recognize seven of the slightest perceived ladies in black history. Some you might be acquainted with by name, however not mindful of their stories. Others you will be acquainted with surprisingly. These ladies prepared for other ladies and blacks when all is said in done and paved the way for us right now today in 2016.

Let’s check out a list of compelling black women who might have missed the standard acknowledgment, yet by the by assumed a critical part in our history.

Ella Baker

ella baker

While we’re always helped to remember the social equality pioneers who worked in front, the individuals who were off camera regularly go unrecognized. Ella Baker is one of those individuals. A dynamic social equality pioneer in the 1930s, Ms. Baker battled for social liberties and civil rights for five decades, working close by W.E.B Dubois, Thurgood Marshall, and Martin Luther King, Jr. She even mentored well-known civil rights extremist, Rosa Parks.

Ella Baker is quoted as saying, “You didn’t see me on television; you didn’t see news stories about me. The kind of role that I tried to play was to pick up pieces or put together pieces out of which I hoped organization might come. My theory is, strong people don’t need strong leaders.”

Look at the beautiful Ruby Dee sitting next to this courageous hero.

Septima Poinsette Clark

septima photo

Known as the “Grandma of the American Civil Rights Movement,” Septima Poinsette Clark was an instructor and social liberties extremist who assumed a noteworthy part in the voting privileges of African-Americans.

In 1920, while serving as an instructor in Charleston, Clark worked with the NAACP to assemble petitions permitting blacks to serve as principals in Charleston schools. Their marked petitions brought about the first dark foremost in Charleston. Clark likewise worked vigorously to instruct proficiency to dark grown-ups. In 1979, President Jimmy Carter granted her a Living Legacy Award in 1979. Her second life account, Ready from Within: Septima Clark and the Civil Rights Movement, won the American Book Award.

Daisy Bates

daisy bates

Daisy Bates was an American civil rights activist, publisher and author who assumed a main part in the Little Rock integration crisis in 1957. Prior to that, Bates and her spouse began their own daily paper in 1941 called the Arkansas State Press. The paper turned into a voice for social equality even before the broadly perceived development.

Bates worked eagerly until her death in 1999. In the wake of moving to Washington, D.C. in the 1960s, she served on the Democratic National Committee furthermore served in the organization of President Lyndon B. Johnson, working her enchantment on hostile to destitution or anti-poverty programs. In her home state of Arkansas, it has been set up that the third Monday in February is ‘George Washington’s Birthday and Daisy Gatson Bates Day,” an official state holiday.

Anna Arnold Hedgemen 


A civial rights pioneer, lawmaker, and author, Anna Arnold Hedgemen was likewise the first African-American student at Hamline University, a Methodist school in Minnesota. After school she turned into an educator. Amid her residency as an instructor, Hedgemen witnessed segregation and chose to fight for its end.

Subsequent to holding a position as assitant dean dignitary of women at Howard University in 1946, Hedgemen later moved to New York and turned into the first African-American lady to hold a mayoral bureau position ever.

Hedgemen, who died in 1990, is the writer of The Trumpet Sounds (1964), The Gift of Chaos (1977) and numerous more articles for various organizations.

Dorothy Heights


While the name Dorothy Height is unmistakable, large portions of her achievements are most certainly not. Stature, who died in 2010 at the age 98 years old, was a social rights activist, overseer, and instructor. In the wake of acquiring her bachelor and graduate degrees at New York University, Height later got to be dynamic in fighting for social injustices. She was the president of the National Council of Negro Women for a long time, and was honored the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1994, and the Congressional Gold Medal in 2004.

Additionally during the height of the Civil Rights Movement, Height organized “Wednesdays in Mississippi” which united highly black and white women from the North and South to participate in dialog about important social issues.

Dorothy Height is cited as saying “I need to be recognized as somebody who utilized herself and anything she could touch to work for equity and opportunity…I need to be recognized as one who tried,” a motto she lived by until her death.

Fannie Lou Hamer
Fanny Lou Hamer, a leader of the Freedom Democratic party, speaks before the credentials committee of the Democratic national convention in Atlantic City, August 22, 1964, in efforts to win accreditation for the group as Mississippi’s delegation to the convention. The Freedom group, composed almost entirely of Negroes, is opposed by the regular all-white Mississippi delegation.(AP Photo)

Authoring the expression, “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired,” Fannie Lou Hamer was a voting rights activist and civil rights pioneer. She was instrumental in sorting out Mississippi Freedom Summer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and later turned into the Vice-Chair of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party.

Hamer stood firm in her religious convictions, frequently citing them in her battle for social equality. She kept running for Congress in 1964 and 1965, and was then situated as an individual from Mississippi’s real designation to the Democratic National Committee of 1968, where she was a frank commentator of the Vietnam War.

Hamer died of of breast disease in 1977 at 59 years old. Covered in the place where she grew up of Ruleville, Miss., her gravestone reads, “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.”

Diane Nash


A pioneer and strategist of the student wing of the Civil Rights Movement, Diane Nash was an individual from the scandalous Freedom Riders. She additionally helped found the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and the Selma Voting Rights Committee battle, which helped blacks in the South get the opportunity to vote and have political force.

Brought up in Chicago, Nash at first needed to end up a pious devotee as an aftereffect of her Catholic childhood. Likewise known for her excellence, she would later get to be runner-up for Miss Illinois. In any case, Nash’s way altered course when she went to Fisk University in the wake of exchanging from Howard University. It arrived that she would witness isolation direct, since originating from an integrated northern city. Her encounters in the South brought about her desire to battle against isolation.

Student of history David Halberstam considered Nash, “splendid, concentrated, absolutely dauntless, with an unerring sense for the right strategic move at every addition of the emergency; as a pioneer, her impulses had been immaculate, and she was the sort of individual who pushed everyone around her to be getting it done—that, or be gone from the development.

Picture contributions: 

Fannie Lou Hamer Photo Courtesy of American Radio Works

Ella Baker photo courtesy of zinnedproject.org

Diane Nash Photo Courtesy of commondreams.org

Daisy Bates Photo Courtesy of libinfo.uark.edu

Anna Arnold Hedgemen Photo Courtesy of hamline.edu

Dorothy Heights Photo Courtesy of USA Today



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