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Black History Themes

Including Women in Your African American History Celebration


Are you planning to honor Black or African American history in a celebration, at Black History Month or another time? Here are some ideas to include women in your celebration.

1. Quotes from African American Women

Marian Anderson Quote
© Jone Johnson Lewis, adapted from an image © 2012 Getty Images / Hulton Archive

Use these quotes to inspire, motivate and inform during your Black History celebration. Dozens of women in many fields are represented in this list.

Index to many quotes: Quotes from Women in Black History

Visual Quotes for Sharing on Social Media: Quotes from African American Women

2. Harlem Renaissance Women

Carl Van Vechten portrait of Zora Neale Hurston
Courtesy Library of Congress

Who were the women of the Harlem Renaissance? In the early 20th century, after World War I, an arts renaissance in the African American community, mostly centered in New York City and Washington, D.C., included many women. Find more about the women of the Harlem Renaissance here: Harlem Renaissance Women: Dreaming in Color

List of many of the women: Women of the Harlem Renaissance, including Zora Neale Hurston, Georgia Douglas Johnson, Augusta Savage, Jessie Redmon Fauset, Nella Larsen

3. African American Women Writers

Alice Walker - 2005
Getty Images / Peter Kramer

From playwright Regina Anderson and journalist and publisher Daisy Bates to novelist Alice Walker and slave poet Phillis Wheatley, you'll find some of the African American women writers whose work could probably be better known.

Find more here: African American Women Writers

4. Women Abolitionists

Sojourner Truth
Courtesy Library of Congress

Both black and white women worked in the 19th century to end slavery. While many at the time felt that women should not properly speak in the public sphere on any issue, some women nevertheless considered it their moral duty to speak out on slavery. It was a movement that brought black and white together, men and women together, to advocate for ending the enslavement of millions of black women and men.

Women Abolitionists

Notable black women abolitionists included: Sojourner Truth | Harriet Tubman | Frances Ellen Watkins Harper | Maria W. Stewart

5. Key African American Women in Sports

Florence Griffith-Joyner, after winning women's 100 meter at 1988 Seoul Olympic games.
Getty Images / Tony Duffy

African American women had to break race and sex barriers to achieve in sports, but have won many records once they've been able to participate.

Here are a few of the notable African American women in sports: Key African American Women in Sports

6. 5 Important Books About African-American Feminism

Feature some books about African American feminism, from the 1960s through the 1990s. Here's the list: Black Feminism: Books about African American Women and Feminist Theory

7. Black Women Writing About Race

Sarah Dudley Pettey
From Twentieth Century Negro Literature, 1902

This collection of essays, published in 1902, are from a book edited by Dr. Daniel Wallace Culp. The essays included are those by women writing on issues facing African Americans of the day. These give insight into what those in the black community believed were the problems and solutions that they needed to address. Essays are from authors including the Harlem Renaissance writer Alice Dunbar-Nelson, educator Mary Church Terrell, Frederick Douglass' daughter Rosetta Douglass Sprague and religious leader Sarah Dudley Pettey.

African American Women's Essays from Twentieth Century Negro Literature

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