I know what you’re thinking – if they are so historically significant, why don’t I understand them? The short answer is that we live in a patriarchal world where women’s voices. And stories, especially those of color, are often erased. This isn’t good because, since dawn, women have been doing it all – from empire-building to burning the regime (that’s too slow!). There isn’t long enough to illustrate all the bad things black women have done throughout history. But I hope this is enough to pique your interest in learning more. Let these ladies inspire you to work some of their villain energy into your own life.
1. Politician: Shirley Chisholm (United States)
Before Kamala Harris, Shirley Chisholm was a pioneer in the participation of black women in politics. Chisholm has had many firsts. The first African American woman to be elected to Congress and the first black woman to run for election to the US Presidential Party. In 1972, her campaign for the White House was both historic and ambitious. To win the nomination, Chisholm must fight sexism and racial discrimination.
Chisholm was banned from participating in televised debates under the slogan “Unacquisition and You Are Not Welcome,” and can only deliver one speech after a complaint to the FCC. Although ultimately unsuccessful, Chisholm was a minority advocate for women’s rights during her tenure in Congress, proposing more than 50 legislation. To quote her, “I want to be remembered as a woman … She dares to be a catalyst for change.”
2. Rebel: Carlota Lukumi (Cuba)
Carlota Lucumí and his slave Firmina, also known as La Negra Carlota (La Negra Carlota), teamed up with his slave Firmina to design a Triumvirate sugar factory piece would later be called the slave revolt of 1843.
Although Firmina was spreading information about the uprising when he was arrested and then incarcerated, Carlota managed to carry on with the plan, using drums to communicate with slaves on other plantations.
On November 3, Carlota launched an offensive and other rebel leaders, sparking other uprisings in nearby country houses. In two days, the slaves burned down at least five sugar plantations, and some coffee plantations and cattle ranches freed themselves and took over by killing their owners.
Carlota has entered the fray viciously, with the machete used to chop sugar cane to release Firming. Although she was eventually arrested and brutally executed to prevent further rebellion, Carlotta’s heroic spirit inspired many later uprisings. Today, there is a memorial commemorating her traditional stall at the Triumvirate Sugar Factory.
3. Businesswoman: Rachel Pringle Pogrin (Barbados)
Rachel Pringle Polgreen was born in 1753. Like many enslaved women, he was physically and sexually abused by his master/father for most of his childhood. British Captain Thomas Pringle (Thomas Pringle) offered to buy her when she was about 16 years old, to escape sexual abuse in exchange for sexual relations.
As the well-planned plot involved a false pregnancy, the relationship deteriorated (if anyone could even call it that), causing Thomas to flee Barbados with shame.
After she left, Rachel had her own freedom and a home, and she soon became an inn, making her the first black female hotel owner on the island.
The inn was often harassed by British naval officers who wanted to have sex with black women. While visiting Barbados, Prince William Henry (who will become King William IV) and his retinue destroyed the hotel in a drunken rage.
Rachel sent him a huge bill. She used the money to create new luxury accommodation, the Royal Navy Hotel. This hotel is so successful that when Rachel died, he actually owned several properties, including two small houses and five tenements!
4. Warriors: Dahomey Amazon (Benin)
Western observers call these cruel fighters “Amazons” because of their brutal, efficient, and ruthless military strength.
In their native language, the Mino is known as a respected all-female militia who pledged to protect and defend Dahomey’s kingdom (modern Benin).
Mino was forbidden to have sex to avoid pregnancy and inability to work, so he received rigorous training and often completed tests, far surpassing all the tests male counterparts have to complete (including thorn climbing!).
Their motto is “Conquer or die,” which was tested during the Frank-Dahomey War, where the Minoans bravely defended their kingdom, which was the last resistance against the French.
Although ultimately overwhelmed (and colonized), the French military leaders had to admit that Mino “fought extremely bravely, always ahead of the other troops.”