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Of course black women have played significant roles in black and American history. As Black History Month celebrates black leaders, black firsts and important historical events and periods of the Black Diaspora, sometimes it seems to focus on the same black pioneers and leaders over and over again.

When you think of black women in history — Rosa Parks and Harriet Tubman probably come to mind for civil rights and advocacy. When you think of black women first you probably think of Bessie Coleman and Madame C.J. Walker. When you think of black women in entertainment who broke down many barriers — you probably think of Lena Horne, Dorothy Dandridge, Bessie Smith and Hattie McDaniel.

But what about the unsung black women in entertainment, politics, education, civil rights, public affairs and sports who broke down barriers for women and black people?

MadameNoire has compiled a list of 15 black women you probably don’t know about, but should because they were the ones who took a stand or broke down barriers in a racial and racist America.

You can check out part one here, and please let us know of any other unsung black women historymakers in the comment section below — as there are so many black women (and girls) in history who rocked and played a significant role in the betterment of our people.

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