Black History Month UK : 7 Inspirational Women Who Changed History

Black History Month started on October 1 and here at Fashion North we thought what better to celebrate than to have a look back at some of the most inspirational black women who have shaped the world we live in.

1.Ruby Bridges
You don’t have to be an adult to change history. Ruby Bridges started at just six-years-old. In 1960, she became a pupil at an all-white elementary school in America. Becoming the first black child to do so. On her first day of school at William Frantz Elementary School in Louisiana, she was escorted by four federal marshals.

2.Mae Jemison
In 1992 Jemison became the first black woman to go into space on the space shuttle Endeavour, which was a major leap for woman-kind. She was also the first black woman admitted to the astronaut training program, in 1987.

3.Michelle Obama

How could we not have this lady on our list, if not just for her fashion statements whilst acting as First Lady of the United States. She is also an accomplished lawyer who attended both Princeton University and Harvard Law School. Mrs O has also been an important advocate for women and children’s health issues in the USA.


4.Claudette Colvin
Rosa Park is a name well known to those interested in the civil rights movement for her infamous arrest however she was not the first. On March 2, 1955, nine months before  Colvin was dragged from a Montgomery bus by two police officers, arrested and taken to an adult jail to be booked. At only 15 years old she was the first person to be arrested for defying bus segregation in Montgomery.

Her story has long since been forgotten, but it provided the spark for the black community in Montgomery that ultimately led to Parks’ actions, the bus boycott and the Supreme Court ruling to end segregation on buses.

5.Oprah Winfrey

Despite battling poverty and child abuse while growing up Oprah didn’t let that stop her from becoming one of the first black women to live out the American dream. She was a successful student and was awarded a full scholarship to Tennessee Sate University.

She built her own empire including the famous The Oprah Winfrey Show, and she was the richest African American person of the 20th century, and became the first black female multi-millionaire. What an achievement!


6.Lilian Bader
Born in 1918 in Liverpool and Bader went on to become one of the very first black women to join the British Armed Forces.

Starting at the bottom as a canteen assistant based in Yorkshire barracks she then trained as an instrument repairer, before becoming a leading aircraft-woman and soon afterwards earning herself the rank of Corporal.

7.Mary Seacole
Seacole was born and raised in Jamaica, but came over to England in 1854.

She asked the War Office if she could go to help wounded soldiers who were fighting the Crimean War (1853-1856), but she was turned away. Instead of letting that hold her back she raised the money herself and travelled to the Ukraine. It was here that she looked after British soldiers who had been injured in the field.

Despite all the amazing work she did not many people knew who she was or the amazing work that she had done. However recently, people have campaigned to make sure that people remember everything that Mary Seacole did and in 2016 a statue of her was built outside St Thomas’ Hospital in London.


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