Strong Black Women

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Inspiring and sometimes difficult accounts written by or about comedians, diplomats, activists, and other trailblazing African American women who changed or are changing their own futures and those of others.

Black Fortunes: The Story of the First Six African Americans Who Escaped Slavery and Became Millionaires

The untold history of America’s first black millionaires, former slaves who endured incredible challenges to amass and maintain their wealth for a century from the Jacksonian period to the Roaring Twenties, self-made entrepreneurs whose unknown success mirrored that of American business heroes. Between the years of 1830 and 1927, as the last generation of blacks born into slavery was reaching maturity, a small group of smart, tenacious, and daring men and women broke new ground to attain the highest levels of financial success. You can also check out this title as eAudiobook on Hoopla, as eBook on Hoopla, as eAudiobook on Overdrive/Libby, and as eBook on Overdrive/Libby.

Diversifying Diplomacy: My Journey From Roxbury to Dakar

Harriett Lee Elam-Thomas shares her experiences which began with her career in the Department of State in 1971. This is her firsthand account of her decades of experience working in the US Department of State’s Foreign Service.

Fire: The Zora Neale Hurston Story

In this graphic novel Bagge reconstructs Harlem Renaissance author, folklorist, and intellectual Zora Neale Hurston’s life with vivid admiration.

Justice Leah Ward Sears: Seizing Serendipity

Justice Leah Ward Sears, the first woman and the youngest justice ever to serve on Georgia’s Supreme Court, opens up about her struggles and how she persevered and triumphed.

The Mother of Black Hollywood: A Memoir

This rags-to-riches story reveals the struggles that Jenifer Lewis overcame after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder and a sex addiction. Brutally honest and amazingly humorous, Lewis recounts her journey from bottom to top and back again.

Rabbit: The Autobiography of Ms. Pat

Armed only with the tools of hustling and humor, 16-year-old, mother of two, Pat Williams set out to make her way in the world. Now, a popular comedian, Williams shares her sordid past and how she overcame it all.

Real American: A Memoir

Bestselling author Julie Lythcott-Haims reveals what it was like growing up a biracial woman in America. As an adult, Lythcott-Haims decided to not let hate determine who she or her children are.

Sign My Name to Freedom: A Memoir of a Pioneering Life

In her 96 years, Betty Reid-Soskin has experienced both the highs and lows of living in America. Born in the Deep South in 1921, she was subjected to racism; however, she also lived to see the election of the country’s first African American president.