Like Sojourner, Harriet was born into slavery and found a means of escape with the help of her abolitionist neighbors. In 1849, she fled her slave life in Maryland and found respite in Philadelphia. There she formulated a plan to liberate the rest of her family by way of the Underground Railroad, a system that involved moving slaves from one safe house to another under rigid secrecy. She was able to free her family and numerous other slaves throughout the years, taking them as far as Canada and helping them find safe jobs. Later, she worked as a nurse during the Civil War and was a proponent of both women’s suffrage and the abolitionist movement.
This list wouldn’t be complete without including Rosa Parks, the woman who refused to give up her bus seat in 1955 and sparked a movement that led to the end of segregation. Her courageous act fueled the Civil Rights Movement and inspired Martin Luther King, Jr. to get involved. Along with MLK, Jr., she continues to inspire those who still fight for equality.
Oprah is one of the richest and most powerful people in America. Her vast influence on the women in this country is remarkable and a testament to the strength and kindness of her character. She uses her resources and celebrity to enact positive change in communities worldwide, such as fostering literacy through her book club, building a school in Africa, and encouraging others to perform good deeds.
A physician who volunteered with the Peace Corps and the first female African American astronaut, Mae was also the first black woman to go into space. After her 1992 expedition on the Endeavor shuttle, she left NASA and founded the Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence (which sponsors science camps for kids), as well as companies involved in scientific and technological research. Currently, she is a professor at Cornell University and strongly involved in the science community.
Debbie is a leading expert in the cleaning industry. She started her business out of the trunk of her car and grew it to one of the largest maid services in the country. Described as a “serial entrepreneur” she owns several successful businesses, in addition to Buckets & Bows Maid Service.
Debbie also owns, with her husband Steve, The Clean Team Catalog and the Speed Cleaning brand. Made famous by best-selling author Jeff Campbell, Steve and Debbie bought The Clean Team Catalog from Jeff Campbell in 2010. They manufacture premium green cleaning products and ship cleaning equipment and tools all over the world from their warehouse in Lewisville, Texas.