Melanin magic! No one can ever have too much melanin, and right now we’re going to give you an extra special dose! History shows us that black women have always been underappreciated. Not today! Black women have constantly fought to pave the way for all people. This has been common since the beginning of time. We praise Sojourner Truth, Rosa Parks, and Condoleezza Rice for using their voices and opening up platforms for black women. While these are our women of yesterday, we’re currently paying an ode to the women making history today.
Jeanette J. Epps
Millions of people around the world are always looking for an “out of this world” experience. The only way to truly accomplish that is by going to space! Most young children dream about the universe beyond the world, and Jeanette J. Epps is one black woman who made that dream a reality.
Epps was chosen to be a NASA astronaut in 2009. Prior to her selection, she worked for Ford Motor Company and even the Central Intelligence Agency. According to NASA, Epps was assigned her first space flight which is set to launch in May 2018. This will make her the first black person to live aboard the International Space Station.
Although she’s been making films since 2005, Ava DuVernay rose to prominence in 2014 with her direction for the film Selma. Since then, she has directed the popular Netflix documentary, 13th as well as the upcoming film A Wrinkle in Time. She was even commissioned to create a movie for the opening of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Within her thirteen year career, DuVernay already has an impressive list of firsts. She is the first black female director to be nominated for a Golden Globe. DuVernay also became the first black female director whose film was nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Her list continued when she became the first black female to win U.S. Best Directing: Drama at the Sundance Film Festival.
In the world of sports, there is not a single soul who shouldn’t be able to recognize Serena Williams. The tennis star began her career in 1995 and would go on to dominate the sport. In 2003, she became the first black tennis athlete, male or female, to win the Australian Open. She has won an impressive 23 Grand Slams, second to only Martina Navratilova. Serena Williams is also the highest paid female athlete of all time.
Recently, Serena Williams has been bringing light to an issue that affects African American women, maternal mortality. After experiencing a scare during the birth of her first child, Williams was able to ask for care and voice her concerns which was able to save her life. Maternal mortality disproportionately affects women of color and Serena Williams has been standing up and speaking out calling for attention and solutions to this issue in our community.
In a world where black women are often underestimated and underappreciated, we are still coming to dominate and make ourselves known. Jeanette J. Epps, Ava DuVernay, and Serena Williams are just a few women who are making history today. In the comments below, let us know some of your favorite women who are making opportunities for us all.