I couldn’t let all of of February – Black History Month – pass without highlighting some amazing African-American women who I truly admire for the strides they’ve made. Each one is a major inspiration in her own right:
Kamala Harris: If you didn’t know Kamala’s name before 2019, you certainly heard about her recently when she announced her run for the President of the United States. She’s currently a Senator in California, of Indian and Jamaican descent, whose most recent book “The Truths We Hold” came out last month.
Meghan Markle: Before she was dubbed The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan was a successful actress who was also an activist, philanthropist and founder of the lifestyle site The Tig. Meghan has been involved with charities for years, and now with a global presence, she can bring even more attention to her causes to help create a better world and a better tomorrow.
Mellody Hobson: I’ve been following Mellody’s career for years, ever since I found out she was married to (in her words) Yoda’s dad … yep, George Lucas. But this woman is a true trailblazer. She’s the President of Ariel Investments, a black-owned financial firm based in Chicago. She was the former chairman of Dreamworks and is the current Vice-Chair of Starbucks. She’s also spoken publicly about being Color Brave, and focusing on diversity in hiring.
Tracy Reese: A popular fashion designer who’s also a board member of the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America). She’s originally from Detroit, has a celebrity following and has even dressed Michelle Obama. And United Airlines tapped her earlier this year to design uniforms!
Rhonesha Byng: The founder of the popular site, HerAgenda, which is a digital destination for career-oriented millennials. She’s been featured on 30 under 30 Lists, and it’s great seeing a young minority woman make a name for herself in an industry that still needs to see a massive improvement in diversity.
Danielle Leslie: I only recently discovered Danielle Leslie who’s an online business coach. Her expertise is in helping people launch online courses with her program Course from Scratch. I’ve noticed that several influencers I follow are also students of hers, so I knew I had to find out more. She’s hilarious and extremely smart, and absolutely killing it in the online coaching game.
Ava DuVernay: This woman barely needs an introduction. She’s been a Hollywood staple for years, and only recently has been getting recognized for her amazing work with “Selma” and “13th”. She was the first black women to direct a movie with a $100 million budget (“A Wrinkle in Time”). Next up is her Netflix Original miniseries “The Central Park Five.”
Marsai Martin: This 14-year-old powerhouse has made a name for herself on the hit ABC show “Blackish.” But now she’s really causing some waves with her upcoming film “Little.” Not only does it star Issa Rae and Regina Hall, but she’s also the movie’s executive producer, making her the youngest in person in Hollywood to ever produce a major motion picture.
Color Me Courtney: You really can’t help but smile when you look at this social media maven’s Instagram page. It’s a rainbow explosion of color and happiness. Courtney was previously making Coach handbags before pursuing her personal brand platform full-time. Trust me, if you ever need a pick me up, you’ll find plenty of upbeat inspiration in her brightly-hued world.
I’d love to hear about more successful black women that are on your radar, share in the comments!