The Top 5 Black Women in Media That Have Shaped American Culture

Michelle and Barak Obama
Michelle and Barak Obama

These women have brought so much to the table.  They have delivered powerful messages in the United States and they have influenced many.

4Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou

She was born on April 4, 1928 and died on May 28, 2014. She was an African American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist. Her father Bailey Johnson was a doorman and navy dietitian and her mother Vivian Johnson was a nurse and card dealer. She was raised in St. Louis, Missouri. At age 14 Angelou moved to Oakland, California. Before graduating high school, she worked as the first black female streetcar conductor in San Francisco. Angelou held many jobs as a young adult including a fry cook, sex worker, night club dancer, performer, and journalist in Egypt and Ghana during the decolonization of Africa. She became an actor, writer, director, and producer of plays, movies, and public television programs. She worked with Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X during the Civil Rights Movement.

In 1993 she read her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration. She was respected as a spokesperson for black people and women. One of her books I Know Why the Caged Bird sings talks about aspects of her personal life. Her works are used a lot by schools and universities worldwide. She has received more than 50 honorary degrees.


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