1/2 WOMAN...1/2 AMAZING! 15 Phenomenal Iconic GIRLS of Black HistoryMonth

Before there were the talented ladies we've come to adore like Kerry Washington, Beyoncè, Tracee Ellis Ross and Misty Copeland, there is a laundry list of extraordinary and trail-blazing African-American women that have all created such phenomenal legacies that can be an inspiration to all women.  In honor of Black History Month, we're delighted to share 15 remarkable women who've changed history.

Dorothy Dandridge
Dorothy Dandridge : American actress and popular singer. She was the first African American to be nominated for an Academy award for best actress with her leading role in Carmen Jones.  She was also nominated for a Golden Globe award for best actress in a motion picture musical or comedy for her performance in Porgy and Bess.

Lola Falana: In the 1970s, she became the highest paid female entertainer in Las Vegas, earning around $100,000 a week.

Donyale Luna: The First African American model to appear on the cover of the top selling fashion magazine British Vouge

Josephine Baker (1937)
Josephine Baker: She was the first black woman to star in a major motion picture, Zouzou (1934) or to become a world-famous jazz entertainer. Baker is famous for barely-there dresses and no-holds-barred dance routines.  Her trademark routines includes a leopard on a leash, a skirt made of feathers, and a string of bananas.

Pat Cleveland: The first African American Supermodel from the 70's.

Carmen de Lavallade: She is an iconic dancer, teacher, choreographer and visual artist (and did it at the age of 52!).

Diahann Carroll
Diahann Carroll: American actress/singer, best known for her title role in the 1968 television series 'Julia', which made her the first African American actress to star in her own television series where she did not play a domestic worker.
Jayne Kennedy: The original Beyoncè!  She was the first black Miss Ohio in 1970, the first Black woman to host a sports program (CBS’ “NFL Today”), a model, starlet and first black actress on the cover of Playboy.
Pam Grier
Pam Grier: One of the first African-American female to headline an action film. She's known for playing bold, assertive characters and became a strong voice not only in the black community, but also for women in general. Some of her best work includes her roles in Coffy, Foxy Brown, Sheba, Baby and Jackie Brown.

Chaka Khan (one of the most amazing singers)
Chaka Khan: A phenomenal vocalist and woman! Chaka Khan achieved great success as part of the soul-funk band Rufus, including hits like "Tell Me Something Good" and "Sweet Thing." She ventured onto a solo career in the late '70s and gained much success with classics like "I'm Every Woman," "I Feel for You" and "Ain't Nobody."

Even though Eartha Kitt was a singer rather than a movie star - she sure had the glamour!
Earhta Kitt: Singer, actress, and cabaret star. She was perhaps best known for her highly distinctive singing style and her 1953 hit recordings of "C'est Si Bon" and the enduring Christmas novelty smash "Santa Baby". She spoke 5 languages, sang in 7 and was the first non-white Catwoman.

Carole Anne Marie Gist: the first African American Miss USA.

Gloria Steinem and Dorothy Pitman Hughes
Dorothy Pitman Hughes: Black activist & child care pioneer, Dorothy Pitman Hughes with feminist Gloria Steinem. Hughes oorganized the first shelter for battered women.

Hazel Scott: She's was an internationally know jazz and classical pianist and singer and also performed as herself in several films. In 1950, she became the first woman of color to have her own TV show, The Hazel Scott Show, featuring a variety of entertainment.

Tia Norfleet is the 1st African American Female NASCAR Driver.
Tia Norfleet: The first African American female Professional NASCAR Driver

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