SHE Celebrates Black Women in History and Believes in Allyship

Author S. Smith by S. Smith

Today, the world in general — and specifically the U.S.— is in a state of unrest. There has been so much going on around the world that it can seem impossible to keep up with everything. The events that have been illuminated in the media during the past several months have been an intense and sometimes overwhelming transparent look into the longstanding racial injustices in this country. For many, the recent events have been a major wake-up call to the systemic inequities that have always existed in America and for others, it’s been a time of deeper awareness into the changes that need to occur. 

SHEbd believes in empowering women to live with intent and purpose and right now, in the space of racial inequity, we want to elevate Black women and celebrate their long-standing contributions to society.  Black women have been fighting against inequality for hundreds of years, and we’d like to share their amazing stories of struggle, resilience and triumph with you. 

In the same vein, our company has a passion for helping women take control of their health and wellness through making more informed, natural lifestyle choices.  There’s no doubt that today, our nation is in great need of healing, and it is our belief that healing can come through an intentional, positive and conscious effort to understand one another.  This is an important step in building allyship. That’s why we make sure to talk about issues like health equity in communities of color and discrimination in health care.  It’s not just about providing an alternative to synthetic pharmaceuticals, it’s also about being another resource for personal growth and improvement as well. For us, all of these actions simply go hand in hand. 

To that end, we have curated a collection of resources that highlight historical Black women and their groundbreaking achievements in various areas including medicine, the sciences, activism and politics, among others.  Their stories are an inspiration for all women and display the true meaning of grit.  In the spirit of allyship, we have also curated resources featuring the works of notable academicians of African American studies, whose narratives and perspectives provide historical and meaningful insight into structural racism in America and its effects.  It’s our goal to continue to empower and inspire women and be confident that our efforts will help to make a difference for everyone. Because SHE is on your side, always.


Profiles of Historical Black Women Who Paved the Way for Change:

SHEbd Featured Video Collection:

Visit our YouTube playlist, SHE Celebrates Black Women in History, to view our curated collection of inspiring videos featuring the amazing stories and contributions of 25 historical Black women! 

Print/Digital Resources:

Learn about remarkable, lesser-known Black female figures who made significant strides and broke barriers in the face of adversity.

The Many Lives of Pauli Murray by Kathryn Schulz
— She was an architect of the civil rights struggle and the women’s movement. Why haven’t you heard of her? 

Charlotte E. Ray’s Brief But Historic Career as the First U.S. Black Woman Attorney  by Erin Blakemore
During the 19th century, women were largely barred from the legal profession, but that didn’t stop Ray from trying to break in anyway.

Dr. Alexa Canady, First African American woman in the United States to become a neurosurgeon
Alexa Irene Canady had almost dropped out of college as an undergraduate, but after recovering her self-confidence she went on to qualify as the first African American woman neurosurgeon in the United States.

Educational and Classroom Resources:

Learn about notable African American trailblazers and unsung heroes and become enlightened about the richness of Black History, with these resources suited for both the young and old: 

Black Women in Science: A Black History Book for Kids, by PhD Kimberly Brown Pellum
Throughout history, Black women have blazed trails across the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Black Women in Science brings something special to black history books for kids, celebrating incredible Black women in STEM who have used their brains, bravery, and ambition to beat the odds.

100 African-Americans who shaped American History, (100 Series) by Chrisanne Beckner
Teeming with interesting nuggets of fact and information, 100 African Americans Who Shaped American History includes such legendary women and men as Mary Church Terrell, Bessie Smith, Rosa Parks, George Washington Carver, Martin Luther King, Jr., Thurgood Marshall and many, many more. Organized chronologically and meticulously researched, this book provides an educational look at the prominent role that these individuals played and how their varied talents, ideas and expertise contributed to American history.

Black Heroes: A Black History Book for Kids: 51 Inspiring People from Ancient Africa to Modern-Day U.S.A, by Arlisha Norwood
Explore the trailblazing stories of well-known standouts like Rosa Parks and Barack Obama, and lesser-known luminaries like Rebecca Lee Crumpler, the first African-American doctor, and Benjamin Banneker, an astronomer and mathematician. This black history book for kids makes it easy to learn about how these trailblazers created lasting change and paved the way for future generations.

Urban Intellectuals Black History Flashcards: Women (52 educational card deck) (Volume 2)
Be empowered through the stories of extraordinary Black women who’ve made history. VOLUME 2 of Urban Intellectuals Black History FlashCards focuses on women who’ve made a significant impact and around the globe. Provides a strong foundation to the many untold stories, achievements, and unknown people that have given shape, color, and definition to the worlds of academia, science, civil rights, business, the arts, and more.


Racism in America:  Perspectives from Academicians of African-American Studies

Become enlightened and inspired by a curated collection of works and insights from esteemed scholars and professors in the fields of African American studies and social sciences.


Videos and podcasts featuring Dr. David R. Williams, Harvard University
— A collection of interviews, lectures and appearances by internationally recognized social scientist, on the issues of race, racism and health.

The World We Know and the World We Want to See / Women’s Voices Amplified,  featuring Dr. Tricia Rose, Brown University
A talk about race, privilege, and the movement towards equality.

TEDxBrownUniversity — Creating Conversations on Justice,  featuring Dr. Tricia Rose, Brown University
A talk that suggests that there is still work to be done in thinking about questions of community, equality and justice. The focus is not on the issues of structural oppression, but on the difficulty in creating an honest conversation about these issues. 

Learning from Black Women’s Resistance,  featuring Dr. Keisha-Khan Y. Perry, Brown University
— Thoughts and perspectives on pressing issues around housing precarity

The Choices Program of Brown University video collection feature: How is  Racial Inequality Rooted in the Founding of the United States,  Francois N. Hamlin, Brown University
— A collection of videos on the topics of racial inequality, the institution of slavery and the impact of racism.

Herskovits at the Heart of Blackness,  featuring Dr. Vincent Brown, Harvard University
— discusses the irony that the modern understanding of the African diaspora in America is owed to a traditional outsider: the child of immigrant Jew

Journals, Papers and Articles

Law and Order in School and Society: How Discipline and Policing Policies Harm Students of Color, and What We Can Do About It,  Dr. Janelle T. Scott (University of California Berkeley) Dr. Michele S. Moses (University of Colorado Boulder), Dr. Kara Finnigan (University of Rochester), Dr. Tina Trujillo (University of California Berkeley) and Dr. Darrell Jackson (University of Wyoming)

Understanding Racial Identity:  An Interview with Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, president emerita of Spelman College

Resource for Measuring Discrimination,  Dr. David R. Williams, Harvard University
— Features The Everyday Discrimination Scale, used widely as a measure of subjective experiences of discrimination

How Racism Creeps Into Medicine, an interview with Dr. Lundy Braun, Brown University

Avoiding Racial Essentialism in Medical School Curricula, Dr. Lundy Braun, Brown University and Dr. Barry Saunders, MD, PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Race, Ethnicity, and Lung Function: A Brief History by Dr. Lundy Braun, Brown University

A seat at the table? Reflections on Black geographies and the limits of dialogue,  by Dr. Camilla Hawthorne, and Dr.  Kaily Heitz, University of California Berkeley

Black Matters Are Spatial Matters: Black Geographies for the Twenty-First Century ,  by Dr. Camilla Hawthorne

Making Room for Black Feminist Praxis in Geography: A Dialogue Between Dr. Camilla Hawthorne and Dr. Brittany Meche, University of California Berkeley
— Offers perspectives on the influence of geography on racism

PUBLIC TALES WAG THE DOG, Telling Stories about Structural Racism in the Post-Civil Rights Era , by Dr. Tricia Rose, Brown University

Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun and the “Illegible” Politics of (Inter)personal Justice , by Dr. Tricia Rose, Brown University


Postwar Anti-Racism, The United States, UNESCO, and Race, 1945-1968 by  Dr. Anthony, Q. Hazard

Boasians at War (2020) Anthropology, Race, and World War II, by Dr. Anthony, Q. Hazard
— Explores debates around ideas of racial and cultural difference, especially as used in political contexts.

Black Noise :Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America , by Dr. Tricia Rose

Imagining Black Womanhood: The Negotiation of Power and Identity within the Girls Empowerment Project, by Dr. Stephanie D. Sears

Additional Resources for Allyship, Understanding and Action

Allyship – The Key To Unlocking The Power Of Diversity,, by Sheree Atcheson
— Explores the underrepresentation of minority groups in executive-level positions in the technology industry, and discusses actions to build allyship

The Guide to Allyship
— An open source starter guide to help you become a more thoughtful and effective ally

Code Switch (NPR)
— Newsletter companion to NPR’s Code Switch, preeminent podcast about race and identity in America

The Adaway Group,
— A black female-owned consulting firm offering training workshops bringing together multi-racial teams to work on projects related to equity, inclusion, and social justice 

Million Dollar Hoods 
— A Los-Angeles-based initiative to end mass incarceration by mapping and documenting the fiscal and human costs

— A research coordination network designed to address the housing crisis in a variety of cities