Over the past ten years, we’ve come a long way as a society with both celebratory highs and disappointing lows. In spite of all the advancements and setbacks, it’s been a beautiful thing to witness the unapologetic growth, return to self, liberation, success, and rise of the Black woman. Not only are they leading the charts as the most educated group in the United States, But Black women are also launching successful new businesses and becoming entrepreneurs at an ever-increasing rate. Overall, the ladies have simply been killing it in anything they choose to pursue. From responding to and highlighting societal issues as community organizers and activists to starting the natural hair movement, which helped to raise the value of the black hair care industry to an estimated $2.5 billion in the U.S., according to Forbes.
In this last decade, Black women have completely leveled up and while each one deserves a pat on the back, here’s a list of some of the most notable black women of the decade:
Obama started off the decade in 2010 as our forever First Lady of The United States of America. As the leading lady in the nation’s first black family, Michelle proved to be the epitome of elegance, class, intelligence and continues to serve as an example of black excellence for the world’s stage. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
The growth of Beyoncé as an artist and woman has been one of the most powerful influences on black culture. Her evolution during this decade as evidenced by her 2013 surprise album release, 2016’s Super Bowl performance, Lemonade album, and accompanying HBO special and headlining 2018’s blackest Coachella performance.
The queen of TV completely dominated network television, accomplishing the ultimate feat and captivating audiences on Thursday nights ever since 2005. After a 15 year run with ABC network, Rhimes has partnered with Netflix in a multi-year contract where she will assuredly create more binge-worthy content.
The Barbadian beauty solidified herself as a singer and entertainer years ago, but in this decade, she proved that she also has what it takes to run multimillion-dollar businesses. Rihanna’s 2017 launch of Fenty cosmetics has quickly turned into an empire, including lingerie and skincare, which has ushered her into a league all of her own. Meanwhile, she ensures that the products and goods provided, promote inclusivity for all skin colors and body types.
Like a storybook tale, the romance between Meghan and Prince Harry shocked the world as their 2018 marriage resulted in her joining the British royal family as the Duchess of Sussex. Meghan’s presence in the royal family has been controversial due to her biracial background, former acting career, and outspokenness about the troubles of living while royal. Still, she’s a refreshing pop of color in the monarchy.
The leading voice in the female rap game ever since she stepped onto the scene in 2010. She’s broken numerous records for her accumulation of top-charting hits and has been referred to as one of the most influential female rap artists of all time.
The incredible filmmaker brings a refreshing point of view to film and television. Her directorial work on “Selma,” Netflix documentary “13th”, “A Wrinkle In Time,” “When They See Us,” and the OWN networks show “Queen Sugar” has helped to usher a new era of change in representation in film.
The social activist literally started a firestorm better known as the “Me Too” movement. Lifting the veil off of sexual violence by allowing women an opportunity to feel safe enough to speak up, speak out, and seek justice for being victims of sexual assault, harassment, and more.
The untimely death of Sandra Bland in July 2015 while in police custody stirred the nation and further highlighted not only police brutality, but aggressive behavior towards black women. Sandra’s passing sparked social media outrage, and the hashtag #SayHerName, which is also used to highlight instances of the deaths, disappearances, and assaults on Black women and girls.
Founded in 2013 by three black women; Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometti in response to the acquittal of George Zimmerman for murdering Trayvon Martin. The movement grew exponentially into a network with members and chapters nationwide. The meaningful effort has been met with much criticism and opposition, thus supporting the need for continued criminal justice reform, eradicating racial injustices in the political framework and overall activism.