black history Civil Rights LGBTQIA+

Ruth Ellis

Ruth Ellis was an African-American LGBT civil rights activist who became the oldest known American lesbian when reaching the age of 101. Ellis was born in 1899 in Springfield, Illinois. Her parents had been born in the last years of slavery, and her father would become the first African-American mail carrier in Illinois. Ellis and …

black history LGBTQIA+

Gladys Bentley

Gladys Bentley was an American blues singer, pianist, entertainer and lesbian icon during the Harlem Renaissance. She became one of the best known and financially successful black women in the U.S. during the 1920s and 1930s for the pioneering way she dealt with gender, sexuality, class and race in her act. Bentley was born in …

activists anti-FGM black history

Leyla Hussein

Leyla Hussein is a Somali psychotherapist and social activist. She is Chief Executive of Hawa’s Haven, and a co-founder of Daughters of Eve, a non-profit organisation which campaigns for greater awareness of female genital mutilation (FGM) and works to support young women and girls. Hussein was born in 1980 in Somalia. At the age of …

activists anti-FGM black history

Nimko Ali

Nimko Ali is a Somali social activist. She is the co-founder and Director of the Daughters of Eve non-profit organisation which campaigns for greater awareness of female genital mutilation (FGM) and works to support young women and girls. She is also a founding member of the Women’s Equality Party. Ali was born in Somalia, at …

activists black history Civil Rights

Hafsat Abiola-Costello

Hafsat Abiola-Costello is a Nigerian human rights, civil rights and democracy activist, founder of the Kudirat Initiative for Democracy (KIND), which seeks to strengthen civil society and promote democracy in Nigeria. Abiola was born in 1974 in Lagos, Nigeria to Nigerian politician and philanthropist Moshood Kashimawo Olawale (MKO) Abiola and Alhaja Kudirat Abiola. She was …

abortion rights activists black history Civil Rights feminist politics

Florynce Kennedy

Florynce Kennedy was an American lawyer, activist, civil rights advocate, lecturer and one of the pioneers of second-wave feminism. Kennedy was born in 1916 in Kansas City, Missouri. She grew up in a mostly white neighbourhood, and as a young child was arrested as the police didn’t believe she lived in the neighbourhood. On one occasion, …

actor black history

Nichelle Nichols

Nichelle Nichols is an American actress, singer and voice artist. She is best known for starring as Lieutenant Uhura in Star Trek, making her one of the first African American female characters to play a role other than a servant. She was a role model for female women of colour, and inspired many to join …

black history business

Annie Turnbo Malone

Annie Turnbo Malone was an American businesswoman, inventor and philanthropist. She was the first female African-American millionaire, and made her fortune founding and developing a cosmetics business to provide products for, and educate and enable African-American women to become financially independent. Malone was born in 1869 in Metropolis, Illinois. She briefly attended public school in …