The Five Most High Profile Black Feminist Leaders
The Furious Feminist Five
“Flo” Kennedy (1916-2000)
The second black woman admitted to Columbia University Law School (though she was initially discouraged because of her gender) Flo Kennedy would go on to become one of its most high profile graduates. After working as an attorney representing the estates of Billie Holliday and Charlie Parker, Kennedy earned notoriety (and infamy in conservative circles) for her outspoken advocacy on behalf of the feminist movement, often at the side of her close friend Gloria Steinem. Kennedy’s famous retort when asked by journalists or critics if she and Steinem were a lesbian couple was, “Depends. Are you the alternative?”
Shirley Chisolm (1925-2005)
The first black woman elected to Congress in 1968, and the first female Democratic presidential candidate in 1972, Chisolm famously hired an all female Congressional staff. She states that she had personally faced more discrimination for being a woman than for being black.
Dorothy Pittman Hughes (1939-the present)
A grassroots organizer specializing in childcare options for low-income women and other initiatives to benefit low-income families, Hughes was drafted by Steinem to travel with her on her speaking tour to help diversify the face and class status of the feminist movement. (Steinem would note years later that she felt that the media had unfairly labeled feminism as a “white middle class movement.”)
Faye Wattleton (1943-the present)
Wattleton was the first African-American President of reproductive rights group Planned Parenthood. Inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1993 she is currently President of the Center for the Advancement of Women.
Angela Davis (1944-the present)
Though best known for her involvement in the Black Panther Party, for being a vice-presidential candidate for the U.S. Communist Party, and her acquittal of http://www.biography.com/