Women to celebrate during Women’s History Month

Women’s History Month is recognized during March and celebrates the many contributions and sacrifices women have made throughout history. While every woman deserves celebration, these four, in particular, made a significant impact on the history of art, sports and politics.

  • Angela Davis:

Born in January of 1944, Angela Davis has become one of the most well-known civil rights activists, scholars and radical thinkers. Growing up in Birmingham, Alabama, Davis witnessed many instances of discrimination and racism at the hands of crooked cops or the Klu Klux Klan.

This discrimination would later fuel her interest in other groups such as the SNCC, the Communist Party and the Black Panther Party.

Davis faced many obstacles throughout her life, from being one of the FBI’s “Most Wanted” in 1970 to spend a little over a year in jail. Davis stands today as a published author of several books and is a professor at the University of California.

  • Billie Holiday:

This outspoken jazz singer Billie Holiday was born in Baltimore, who many have called one of the most unique vocalists of her time.

Holiday has not always lived a life of singing as she started as a maid and would later take on dancing at a Harlem nightclub. Holiday made her radical impact through her music as she would advocate ending lynching and other ruthless crimes towards Black people.

One of the most reputable yet problematic songs she performed in 1939 is “Strange Fruit.” Her performance was captivating and shook the audience with her morbid yet realistic song that people would later protest.

She was later inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and the National Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame for her long-lasting contributions to music.

  • Ida B. Wells-Barnett:

Vocal about issues that mattered the most to her, Ida B. Wells-Barnett was an activist and journalist throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. Growing up, she witnessed how active her family was in local politics and stressed the importance of being educated.

After experiencing the devastating loss of both her parents and younger brother due to the yellow fever epidemic, she took care of the rest of her siblings and taught full-time in Memphis, Tennessee.

While teaching in Memphis and traveling, Wells witnessed many hate crimes, lynchings and sexism.

These things empowered her to use her voice and speak out against discrimination in her editorials. Wells would later marry and have children, but she did not let those things distract from her activism.

She was one of the NAACP’s founders and a founder of the National Association of Colored Women’s Club, where she continued to deal with the most pressing issues she saw within the Black community.

Wells will continue to be recognized for her trailblazing work on her anti-lynching campaign and overall reform within the Black community.

  • Serena Williams:

Born in Compton, California, Serena Williams remains one of the most influential athletes. Serena and her older sister Venus would practice tennis for hours growing up.

This dedication and hard work won Serena twenty-three major singles titles and  ranked as number one in The Women’s Tennis Association.

Williams has still faced hardships while playing the game despite her talent.

From public scrutiny to experiencing a difficult pregnancy, her humility and transparency about events in her life and competing in the world of tennis as a Black woman only increased the world’s admiration for her.

She proves to the youth and others to stand up for themselves and that no one is perfect.

While so many more women have made a permanent footprint on history and their communities, these four women have done a wonderful job standing for their beliefs.

Whether it was about sports, politics or art, these women were unafraid to speak about things that mattered the most.