As Black History Month kicks off, we’ve compiled a list of our five favorite Black women in pop culture. Whether they are leading revolutionaries, breaking down barriers, or inspiring our wardrobe goals, we can look to these leading ladies to shape 2016 for the better. These diverse women are all inspirational and influential trailblazers in their fields, and continue to pave the way for those that follow with style and flair.
Jourdan Dunn (supermodel)
When Jourdan Dunn isn’t busy taking over the fashion industry as one of the world’s top supermodels, she passes the time hosting her cooking show, Well Dunn, and starring in Beyoncé music videos. She continues to give us fashion and career goals, as a two-time winner of BFA’s model of the year award, the face of Maybelline’s Go Extreme Mascara, and the first black model to cover British Vogue since Naomi Campbell over ten years ago.
Viola Davis (actress)
Viola Davis is one of the most talented actresses on television, and last year she became the first African-American to win an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress. She used her long-deserved recognition to shine a light on the lack of opportunities for minorities, and praise other Black actresses in television. Viola exemplifies a woman that lifts up others, and continues to create opportunities for women and minorities that follow her lead.
Amandla Stenberg (actress)
Amandla Stenberg may only be 17, but she has been empowering girls that dare to be different since her breakout role in the Hunger Games four years ago. She continues to make headlines for unapologetically speaking her mind, whether it’s calling out cultural appropriation or publicizing her struggles as a bisexual Black woman. We love to watch Amandla speak her truth and serve as a role model for women and girls everywhere.
Serena Williams (athlete, designer)
Serena Williams dominates on and off the tennis court. In addition to winning all four majors in a row, she debuted her second HSN clothing collection during NYFW and became the first black athlete to cover Vogue by herself-all in 2015. Instead of retaliating against her haters, Williams responds to body-shamers with confidence and continues to show off her curves in a series of stunning style choices.
Kyemah McEntyre (viral designer, student)
Kyemah McEntyre gave us serious wardrobe envy this summer when her homemade prom dress went viral. After the 18 year old fashion student’s debut creation left us speechless in the best way, she wowed again when she designed actress Naturi Naughton’s dress for the 2015 BET Awards. A freshman at Parson’s School of Design, we are beyond excited for her inevitable fashion reign.
These women may be among the most famous in the world, but their success creates opportunities for women everywhere. By showing the world their strength, talent, and beauty they help to empower, motivate, and enlighten.
How will you be celebrating Black History Month? Let us know in the comments below.
Alexandra B., Community Relations Intern