A History Of Black Women In Politics

| She Should Run

The greatest triumphs in American history have been made possible by the dedication and persistence of Black women. To this group of change-makers our country owes endless gratitude for women’s suffrage, the Civil Rights, the Voting Rights Act and more. Today this same group leads out on issues most closely impacting individuals and communities.

This timeline is dedicated to highlighting the stories of Black women coming to political power and the starting places that launched them to these pursuits. While this is not a comprehensive list, we know that the experiences of the women included here match those of many women today. May we be inspired by the paths they paved for us.


In addition to the women in this timeline, there are so many more passionate, smart, service-oriented, and powerful women who are named and unnamed in the history of our country. Black women are still achieving firsts on city councils, school boards, state legislatures, and congressional seats from coast to coast.

If you have ever been curious about how you could get involved in serving your community, consider this a formal invitation: we think you should run for office! We also want to support you along the way. The She Should Run Community has more than 25,000 women exploring a run for office, and our Black Women’s Affinity Group offers a dedicated space to discuss questions, challenges, opportunities and hopes specific to Black women. 

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