This post has been edited on 10/19 by smalltowngemini
Feminism has been a fight and a hot topic since the 1800s. With movements such as the women’s suffrage movement, the women’s liberation movement, and the black feminism movement, powerful woman leaders can seldom be ignored (although many do try). These movements have brought about waves of feminists throughout history, such as Simone De Beauvoir, Angela Davis, Gloria Steinem, and many more who care and fight for equality, even sometimes just leading by example. Modern feminists are tearing through barriers every day and showing that there is nothing that women cannot do. Here is a list of 3 modern black feminist icons who you should definitely know more about
One of the most famous and talked about women in music these days is none other than Lizzo. The “about damn time” singer has three grammy awards, a chart-topping album, and even now an Emmy for her reality show. But why is Lizzo such a feminist icon? According to Leah Rodriguez of Global Citizen, it is because she is “Championing the Underdog.” Despite Lizzos massive success, she is constantly facing scrutiny for her body positive attitude. People comment on her body with hurtful assumptions and even say things like she is “promoting obesity”. Despite these comments, Lizzo continues to promote sexuality, race, and body diversity through her music. She has spent her successful career being an advocate for women, people of color, and the LGBTQ+ community. She told Vogue that “I didn’t have enough women to look up to and they weren’t given enough space in the industry to carve out a lane for big girls that are brown and Black and want to sing and dance without getting shit talked and body shamed”. Lizzo, through her bold choices in fashion and in music, is carving her own path and proving to young girls that they can do anything they set their minds to, no matter what they look like.
Acting: Quinta Brunson
Relatively new to the scene but already massively successful is writer, actress, producer, and comedian Quinta Brunson. You may have heard about Quinta recently because of an incident that happened at the 2022 Emmy awards. After winning her first-ever Emmys for writing and acting in her show “Abbott Elementary”, Quinta was forced to play into Jimmy Kimmels comedy bit while accepting her awards. Kimmel, playing dead on stage (because he lost in his own category), required Brunson to physically step over him so she could get to the microphone. Although Kimmel has since apologized and Brunson has accepted the apology, many, including Ernest Owens, editor-at-large at Philadelphia Magazine, are saying that Kimmel was “trying to take away” from Brunson’s big win. A tweet by American journalist and Emmy viewer, Sam Sanders explains the situation by stating “Kimmel playing dead on the ground right next to a black woman accepting her rightful place in the future of tv is such a stinging metaphor.” But besides the woman who had to step over Jimmy Kimmel, Quinta has dealt with issues regarding feminism and the woes of womanhood in viral sketches earlier in her career. She proves to young women, especially young black women that they can be and deserve to be successful in their field, even if they have to climb over others to get there.
Sports: Serena Williams
Serena Williams is someone that I like to call famous but not famous enough. Despite her massive success, the tennis player is (in my opinion) hugely underrated for all that she has accomplished. Williams’ retirement has been in the headlines recently, so I believe it is a good time to highlight her successes. Both on and off the court, Williams has proven to be a fierce advocate for gender equality. Williams stated “Believe me, I never wanted to have to choose between tennis and a family, I don’t think it’s fair. If I were a guy, I wouldn’t be writing this because I’d be out there playing and winning while my wife was doing the physical labor of expanding our family.” Williams has had to fight throughout her career, not only in Tennis but in life as well. While she was pregnant with her now 5-year-old daughter, Olympia, Williams suffered complications and had to struggle to receive the adequate healthcare she required. This, unfortunately, happens to numerous black women every day and causes black women to be three times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related complication than white women. Serena Williams, an incredible athlete, a mother, and a black woman proves to young women in sports that their voices deserve to be heard.
Iconic feminists pave the way for young women and lead by example, demonstrating that these girls can do anything they set their minds to. Whether it be writing, playing sports, creating music, or anything else, they are more than capable of accomplishing their dreams. These three black feminists, Lizzo, Quinta Brunson, and Serena Williams exemplify strength, power, success, and leadership in women. Traits, that for a long time, were seen as particularly white and masculine. Researching and supporting black feminist icons such as these three women is both important and inspiring.
One thought on “3 modern black feminist icons to know more about”
Omg, this was such a good article! I love how you spoke about each woman respectfully and gave them their props. This was very well written.