Black History Month has always been a time to reflect on the past, and educate ourselves on a deeper level. This year it is more important than ever, because 2020 has been pivotal and will be remembered for so many reasons. The year we experienced momentous change, and people around the globe rallied together against injustice and combatting systematic racism.
Here at Chi Chi HQ we would like to pay homage to five exceptionally influential Black women, who have paved the way for young black women and set an incredible example for the rest of us to follow.
The Obama’s are a force to be reckoned with, but what’s even more impressive is that Michelle is equally accomplished at effecting change. She was America’s first African-American First Lady, a political symbol defying all racial and gender stereotypes. Author of best-selling book ‘Becoming’ selling over 10 million copies, and her new self-titled podcast where she interviews husband Barack has been met with critical acclaim. She is full of humility and continues to inspire women worldwide, all the while raising two strong black women. We can’t wait to see what the next generation, Malia and Sasha have in store.
If you’ve seen Orange is the New Black, or turned on your TV in the last few years for that matter, you know who this next powerhouse of a woman is. Laverne Cox not only built a platform for LGBTQ women in Hollywood but globally too, becoming the first openly transgender person nominated for an Emmy in 2019. Her 2014 article with "Time" magazine gave millions an insight into a Black woman’s transgender journey and experience from a perspective that had been largely unheard. Thank you, Laverne Cox, we salute you!
In recent years the UK music scene has been bursting at the seams with young talented black women, and Nigerian born Sade paved the way for so many with her truly distinct sound. She was recognised for her work and honoured with an OBC and CBE, saying at her speech ‘a great gesture to me and all the black women in England’. It wasn’t always that easy to speak your mind and sing your truth as a young black woman, but Sade’s work cemented her position in music and empowered the next generation.
Taking a leap over the pond, Meghan Markle married Prince Harry on May 19th 2018. This was not your average boy meets girl love story. Their union was met with widespread criticism and caused political upheaval. Meghan dealt with an unprecedented level of scrutiny in the public eye after it was announced her and the Duke of Sussex were to be wed, and she did it all with a ridiculous amount of poise and grace. She steered the way for acceptance and change, and waved a royal goodbye to the outdated patriarchal ways of old.
This next woman is not only an Olympic medal winner, she is also the fastest British woman in recorded history, taking Gold at the final of the World Athletics Championships in Doha for the 200 metres. Dina-Asher Smith is a leading figure in Athletics worldwide and the face of British Athletics. Possibly one of the most influential figures in women’s sports in recent times, she has set a phenomenal example for women in sport worldwide.
Black women everywhere finally are on their way to gaining the representation and recognition they deserve, thanks to the likes of these incredible women and many others like them. So here’s to the next generation, may you continue on your path to greatness!