Black history personified: highlighting the women who taught you

As Black History Month comes to a close, we maintain that there's no way to put a time frame on praising the Black heroines that have come before us. This month we celebrated with our annual Who Taught You series in which we highlight women who have and continue to set the tone for womanhood. See below for some of our faves: 


A pioneer of Neo-Soul, she's your fav's fav. Inspired Beyonce? she did that. Kanye? she did that. Rozay, Missy Misdemeanor Elliot? she did that both times. She's your king of sorrow and always by your side. Sade taught me. Who Taught You?

Your Favorite TV mom. Acting so good you got scared when Vanessa went to see The Wretched. Houston born, Mexico raised. Howard alum--can you say magna cum laude? First Black woman to win a Tony. Bodied Lena in A Raisin in the Sun. Still Relevant on Empire. Phylicia Rashad taught us. Who Taught You?

The Mother of Black Hollywood--she's played Tina Turner's mama, The Fresh Prince's Auntie and Rainbow Johnson's mother-in-law. Her career predates most of us as a powerhouse on Broadway. Honest about her battle with bi-polar disorder and continues her high-kick while doing it. Jennifer Lewis taught me. Who taught you?

Obie Award Winner. Pulitzer Prize Nominee. Her play Eclipsed was the first play to be featured on Broadway with an all Black women cast + creative team. Michonne in Walking Dead. Dora Milaje in Black Panther. Playwright. Actress. Overall inspiration. Danai Gurira taught me. Who Taught You?

Novelist + MacArthur Genius Grant Recipient. Time dubbed her a triple threat--an expert in prose, human observation, and social commentary. Jesmyn Ward taught me. Who taught you?  


First Black woman to receive an Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series. South Side girl. Writer with intention + perception without false pretense, she is a leader in her craft as a Black, queer woman. Dopeness personified. Atmosphere Creator. Lena Waithe taught me. Who taught you?

Player by her own rules + never losing herself in the cycle of fame.  Rihanna taught me. Who taught you?

Dynamic, poised and grace personified. Octavia Spencer taught me. Who taught you? Giving every role a piece of her talent. Oscar Winner. Golden Globe Winner. SAG Award Winner--just winning all there is to win basically.  Actress. Mother. Author--despite dyslexia. Octavia Spencer taught me. Who taught you?

South Central girl. Comedienne. Actress. First Black woman stand-up comic to host SNL...ever. She is the last Black Unicorn and ooh, she readyyy! Tiffany Haddish taught us. Who taught you?

Always lit, always ready, she expresses the thoughts and concerns of an entire community. Marching to the beat of her own 808s, her intellect is seldom matched. The only thing common about her is her man. Clapback Queen, Lawyer for the underrepresented + Political commentator. Angela Rye taught me. Who taught you?

And while these women are absolutely not the only ones that give us Black Excellence on the daily, we honor them with this post because they continue to show us how it's done. They taught us. Who taught you?