A Millennial's Black Female Role Models

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This post is part one of a three-part series where three generations of women reveal Black women who have inspired them throughout the years. Discover Xennial's and Boomer's heroes in part two and part three.

Black History Month has always been a special month for me. It’s a time to honor the African Americans who paved the way throughout history for myself and many others today. 

Year after year, I am not only reminded of those who came before me, but I am inspired by today’s young people who are still continuing to do hard work. As a young 20-something Black woman living in this world, there’s a lot to navigate and face. 

In honor of Black History Month, these are some of the Black women who inspire me to work hard, be better, and fight for the life I want.

1Elaine Welteroth

While studying journalism in college, there was nothing more inspiring than a Black female role model to look up to. 

Elaine Welteroth is an award-winning journalist, producer, and author. Not only has she been one of my inspirations for writing, but I am constantly inspired by her ability to elevate and get to where she wants to be in life. 

Her words are beautiful, her accomplishments are noteworthy, and she has always kept a fearless mindset that I strive to sustain as I navigate my career.

2Morgan Harper Nichols

Morgan Harper Nichols is a beautiful writer, artist, and musician. I stumbled upon her work during the early stages of quarantine and became hooked. 

Her Instagram page is filled with original inspirational quotes and poems that never fail to transform your day into something better.

As I’ve gone through my 20s, I’ve learned that this period of life has many highs and many lows. Her work is electrifying, and never fails to make me feel good about who I am or where I’m at in my journey.

3Ava DuVernay

Those checked into the film industry have likely heard the name Ava DuVernay. She’s an award-winning writer, producer and director known for the film Selma and so many others. 

If there’s one thing she has taught me as a role model, it’s that the sky is truly the limit. Being a Black creative and a storyteller while also addressing social justice is no easy feat. 

Ava never fails to do it all with so much grace, detail, and precision. It’s also been an honor to watch her give more BIPOC professionals in the industry a platform they truly deserve.

4Lauren Simmons

Lauren Simmons is not just an inspiration to Black women, but she’s an inspiration to all women. 

At 22, she became the youngest female full-time stockbroker on Wall Street. She’s proved time and time again that it is indeed possible to prevail against all odds, even as a woman of color working in a male-dominated field.

Watching Lauren meet her goals has shifted my perspective in the greatest ways possible. I’ve learned that quieting any limiting thoughts in your mind can propel you farther than you could ever imagine.

5Gabrielle Thomas

Between being a two-time Olympic medalist, a Harvard graduate, and a public health advocate, Gabrielle Thomas is a young woman who many look up to.

Her professional, personal, and academic achievements are all testaments to her hard work and perseverance, regardless of how much she juggles. She’s not afraid to speak out about what’s right, and is an inspiration to many other Black women working to balance their passions with academics.

At this point in my life, watching women who look like me excel in what they do skyrockets my motivation and ability to work hard. 

This month is a time to show special recognition to those in the Black community, both present and past. Through adversity, these women have been able to change the world.

Tags: Black Women, Women in Business, KNOWHERNAME, Black History Month

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Written By

Camille Johnson

Camille Johnson is a freelance content writer and blogger of over 3 years living outside of Philadelphia, PA. See Full Bio

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