Luvvie Ajayi

Luvvie Ajayi is the executive director of The Red Pump Project, a non-profit she co-founded in 2009 that empowers and educates women and girls of color about HIV/AIDS to help eliminate the stigma associated with the epidemic.

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Alma Thomas

Alma Thomas was the first black woman to have a solo exhibition at The Whitney Museum in 1971 when she was in her 80s. She graduated from art school in 1924.

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Ellen Elgin

Ellen Elgin invented a “clothes wringer” for washing machines in 1882 and sold the patent because she thought no one would use it if it were known she was a black woman.

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Irene Morgan Kiklaldy

Irene Morgan Kiklaldy in July 1944 refused to give up her bus seat to a white person in Virginia. She was arrested, convicted, and appealed. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in her favor. She received a Presidential Citizens medal from President Bill Clinton in 2001.

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Willie Mae Thornton

Willie Mae Thornton better known as Big Mama Thornton was the original singer of Hound Dog in 1952, later popularized by Elvis Pressley and wrote and recorded Ball”n”Chain later popularized by Janis Joplin.

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