From the moment Black women touched the shores of what would become the United States, they left their marks—and have been left out of retellings of the nation’s history. In an attempt to rectify that, Daina Ramey Berry and Kali Nicole Gross, historians and the authors of the new book “A Black Women’s History of the United States,” spoke with WHYY’s Radio Times on February 25 about some of the women—famous and not so much—who helped shape the nation in their fight for racial and gender equality. For example, many may be unaware of explorer Isabel de Olvera, who arrived in North America in 1600, or many not have heard about Belinda Sutton, who sued the heirs of her enslaver for the freedom that their elder promised her.
“You see how Black women managed to cleave out a life for themselves in spite of some incredible obstacles, which I think is a testament to this enduring spirit and legacy, but also it demonstrates the power they have to collectively organize and to continue to resist and demand justice and equality,” said Gross of the book.
To learn about more history-making Black women, listen to the complete interview via WHYY.