These days there are plenty of inspirational black female influencers that young girls can look up to. Unfortunately, these incredible women aren’t always given the limelight they deserve. To put an end to this perpetual devaluing of black women, here is a list of 5 exceptional black women who have made big moves or are currently making big moves worth talking about.
1. Dr. Joy Harden Bradford
Although mental illness is still stigmatized in the black community, things are slowly getting better. However, there’s another glaring issue that few people have talked about. The mental health industry is glaringly white and there are few black social workers and therapists available to provide counsel for black people. Thankfully, Atlanta-based licensed Psychologist Dr. Joy Harden Bradford has created Therapy for Black Girls, a platform that aims to provide healing and wellness advice and resources for Black girls and women, specifically.
Those dealing with issues such as depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, or those who simply want to better cope with life circumstances such as divorce or the death of a loved one, can sign onto the website to start searching for a Black woman therapist perfectly suited for you. Therapy for Black Girls can link you directly to founder Dr. Joy, or one of the several other psychologists on the platform. And it’s free! Sign up here.
2. Lupita N’yongo
At 35-years old, Yale graduate Lupita N’yongo has bagged an Oscar, featured in the blockbuster film Black Panther and graced the covers of dozens of magazines. She’s also proved multiple times that she’s more than just a stunning face. Lupita is also a philanthropist and a global ambassador for WildAid, an elephant conversancy organization which aims to promote being ivory free and save elephants from extinction. Moroever, Lupita revealed on Instagram that she’d written a children’s book called Sulwe, about a dark-skinned black girl “who goes on a starry-eyed adventure, and awakens with a reimagined sense of beauty”. Lupita herself has been open about her struggles with colorism growing up, so it’s wonderful to see her making a change and attempting to instill confidence and self-love in other dark-skinned black girls. Look for her book on shelves in January 2019.
3. Madey Adeboye
Madey Adeboye, a Nigerian lawyer, founded one of the leading healthy food cafés in Lagos, Nigeria, called Green Grill House. When asked what her inspiration for starting the restaurant was, she stated, “changing my eating habits and seeing the amazing results inspired me to want to do that for others.” Not only has Adeboye opened up her own thriving café, but she’s also becoming a household name in Nigeria and she boasts of plenty of partnership invitations coming in from all over Africa.
Hamamat Montia is a Ghanaian model and entrepreneur. In 2006, she was elected Miss Malaika and in 2007, she won the title of Model of Africa Universe. Hamamat is also the founder of the popular shea butter company, Hamamat African Beauty. On her website she states:
“Knowing that the ancestral power of Shea Butter must be shared to the world, I took it upon myself to continue the family legacy, and created a video to celebrate what all of this meant to me.
From cutting my hair to sharing the video from the village on how to make shea butter, it went viral. Clients started to line up, orders started to come in and then I soon realized that this endeavor was moving and that this was a confirmation that I was on the right path of destiny. This is how Hamamat African Beauty was born.”
5. Madam C.J. Walker
After suffering from a scalp ailment that caused hair loss, Madame C.J. Walker created her own line of hair care products. Her hair care company led her to become the first black female “self-made” millionaire—which is quite an impressive feat, considering it occurred during a time of harshly racist Jim Crow laws. Madame C.J. Walker promoted her products by traveling around the United States, giving lectures and demonstrations and eventually founding Madame C. J. Walker Laboratories, which manufactured cosmetics and trained sales beauticians. Walker was also a very generous philanthropist.
"Grace is a freelance writer and blogger from Canada. Her work has been featured on HerCampus, 21Ninety, Read Unwritten. She is a voracious reader, a dog-lover and a self-professed pop culture junkie. Her other hobbies include watching sappy romantic comedies, consuming too many strawberry-filled doughnuts and people-watching. Grace currently attends university, where she is working towards a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Pre-Law."