6 Things We Can Thank Black Women For


By Korin Miller womenshealthmag.com -

The movie Hidden Figures is cleaning up during awards season (raking in $119 million in box office sales, according to ComScore), and critics have applauded the cast’s portrayal of the brilliant African-American women who helped launch astronauts into space in the early '60s.

The film is based on a true story, but you probably never heard about it at school. Unfortunately, the women who inspired Hidden Figures aren’t alone—there are many black women who contributed substantially to history and yet never got the widespread credit they deserved.

Here are just a few advances in modern history that we owe to black women:

The Right To Vote: Ida B. Wells     

We often associate the names Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony with women getting the right to vote, but the contributions of Ida B. Wells shouldn't be overlooked. Best known for her work in the early civil rights movement, Ida also started the Alpha Suffrage Club of Chicago, which was the first African-American women’s suffrage organization, according to the Washington Post. In 1913 she attended the Women’s Suffrage Parade in Washington, D.C., despite white organizers telling her and other black women to march at the back of the line. She refused, and pushed her way to march at the front of her state’s delegation.

Home Security: Marie Van Brittan Brown

We take it for granted that we can spy on our pets while we’re at work and check out who’s ringing the door without stepping outside, but all of that became possible thanks to the inventiveness of Marie Van Brittan Brown. According to the New York Times, the nurse created a patented home surveillance device with her electrician husband in 1969. Their design enabled cameras to send images from peepholes to a single monitor so people could see who was outside the house. It became the basis for modern security systems.

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