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Inspirational Women

Hattie McDaniel (1895-1952), First African-American to Win an Oscar

First African-American woman to sing on radio First African-American to win an Oscar (Best Supporting Actress for her role in Gone with the Wind); however,... continue »

Charlotta Spears Bass (1874-1969): Newspaper Owner Who Fought for Civil Rights

• First African-American woman to own and operate a newspaper • Crusaded against job and housing discrimination, police brutality, and media stereotyping. Advocated for civil... continue »

Mary Fields (ca. 1832-1914): First African-American Woman to Carry the Mail

First African-American woman employed to carry the U.S. mail; Traveled the mail route for central Montana for more than ten years. Mary Fields was born... continue »

Inventor Beulah Louise Henry: Known as “Lady Edison”

 Beulah Louise Henry (1887-1973) registered 49 patents and is credited with at least 110 inventions. She was always tinkering to improve things she could use. She moved... continue »

Jackie Ormes (1911-1986), First African-American Female Cartoonist

Ormes’ comic strips were syndicated in black newspapers in the 1930s and ‘40s, making her the only nationally syndicated black woman cartoonist until the 1990s.... continue »

Farmerettes, 1917-1919

Woman's Land Army of America Rosie the Riveter is a well-known icon used to portray how women stepped in to men’s jobs during World War... continue »

Latinas in World War II: A Little-Recognized Group

In the 1930s during the Great Depression, Americans were looking for scapegoats, and in an effort to save jobs for “real Americans” they began rounding... continue »

Maggie Lena Walker (1864-1934), First Woman to Be a Bank President

Maggie Lena Walker was born in 1864 to Elizabeth Draper, a former slave who worked at the Richmond home of Elizabeth Van Lew, an abolitionist... continue »

Sarah Winnemucca (ca. 1844-1891) Educator and Advocate for Native Americans

Documented her life as a Native American in an autobiographical book published in 1883 Spoke forcefully for her people at a time when women had... continue »

Luisa Moreno, (1907-1992), Labor Organizer

Activist in the Mexican-American Civil Rights Movement (which preceded Chicano activism) Organized first National Congress of Spanish-Speaking People (1938) Luisa Moreno was born in Guatemala... continue »

Hazel Bishop (1906-1998), Research Chemist Who Made Name in Cosmetics

Hazel Bishop's intention to be a doctor ended with the stock market crash of 1929. Instead, she got a job as a biochemical technician at... continue »

Woman-Owned, Minority-Owned Construction Company Marks 108 Years and Counting

"The road to success is always under construction," aptly quotes Cheryl McKissack Daniel, President and CEO of McKissack & McKissack, a New York construction company... continue »